Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who on Saturday confirmed that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus, posted a video on Sunday morning in which he described himself as "absolutely fine" and urged all those showing symptoms of the coronavirus to get themselves tested, reassuring them that "there is no need to fear".
In a 75-second video uploaded to his Twitter account, Mr Chouhan is seen dressed in a blue hospital gown and sitting up in a bed in Bhopal's Chirayu Hospital, where he was admitted yesterday afternoon. A second video showed him watching a TV while two medical staff stood nearby.
"I am absolutely fine, my friends. The dedication of coronavirus warriors, who selflessly risk their lives, is praiseworthy. I salute all coronavirus warriors of the state who are working for their patients," Mr Chouhan said in the first video.
प्रिय प्रदेशवासियों, आपको #COVID19 से डरने की जरूरत नहीं है। लक्षण प्रकट होते ही टेस्ट कराएं और पॉजिटिव होने पर तत्काल इलाज शुरू करवाएं तो कोरोना पर विजय अवश्य मिलेगी।— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) July 26, 2020
इससे लड़ने का प्रमुख अस्त्र है, मास्क और दो गज की दूरी। इन अस्त्रों का प्रयोग अवश्य करें। #MPFightsCoronapic.twitter.com/Pyu2h6gAia
Stressing that "there is no need to fear" on testing positive for the virus, the Chief Minister urged people showing symptoms of the coronavirus to get themselves tested as soon as possible.
"If you are infected, there is no need to fear. Do not hide symptoms but tell doctors immediately, so treatment can be started. Timely treatment will make you healthy," he said.
The Chief Minister also held a meeting, via video-conference, from the hospital to review the COVID-19 situation in the state.
On Saturday Mr Chouhan tweeted that he had tested positive for the virus despite his best efforts to avoid infection and warned people that "just a little carelessness invites the coronavirus".
Today the Chief Minister repeated his warnings, urging people to follow hygiene protocols and guidelines laid down by the centre, such as social distancing and the use of face masks.
"Keep two metres distance, wash your hands frequently and wear face masks - these are the biggest weapons we have to avoid the coronavirus. I appeal to all people - use these weapons for yourself and your loved ones," he said.
"All of you be careful, stay safe and healthy. This is what I pray to God," Mr Chouhan added.
मुख्यमंत्री @ChouhanShivraj@CMMadhyaPradesh#कोविड19 कोविड-19 हॉस्पिटल चिरायु में प्रधानमंत्री @narendramodi के #मन_की_बात कार्यक्रम को सुना,ट्वीट कर बताया ठीक है तबीयत #MannKiBaat#COVIDー19#CoronaVirusUpdates@ndtvindia@ndtv#ShivrajSinghChouhan#SpeakUpForDemocracypic.twitter.com/e2R6Ddr0lw— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) July 26, 2020
Mr Chouhan's immediate family - his wife Sadhna Singh and sons Kartikeya and Kunal - have all tested negative for the virus, although they are in quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Madhya Pradesh has nearly 27,000 COVID-19 cases, of which more than 7,600 are active and 799 are deaths linked to the virus.
India has recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past weeks, with over 45,000 new cases detected every day since July 23. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is rapidly approaching 14 lakh; of these more than 4.67 lakh are active cases and over 32,000 are deaths linked to the virus.
The spike in cases, coinciding with the staggered relaxation of lockdown guidelines in non-containment zones of the country, has propelled India to third on the list of most affected nations.
Only the United States (41.78 lakh cases) and Brazil (23.94 lakh cases) are worse off.