Former President Pranab Mukherjee has successfully undergone surgery to remove a clot in his brain, sources said late Monday night. Mr Mukherjee, 84, who had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his surgery, is on ventilator support at the Army Hospital Research and Referral in Delhi.
In a tweet this morning Mr Mukherjee, who was President between 2012 and 2017, urged all those who had come in contact with him over the past week to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.
"On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID19 today. I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19," he wrote.
On a visit to the hospital for a separate procedure, I have tested positive for COVID19 today.— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) August 10, 2020
I request the people who came in contact with me in the last week, to please self isolate and get tested for COVID-19. #CitizenMukherjee
Minutes later, wishes for his speedy recovery poured in.
"Please take care sir. We are praying for your speedy recovery and good health @CitiznMukherjee (sic)," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.
"Sir, wishing you a speedy recovery and a long and healthy life," Ajay Maken, ex-Delhi Congress chief tweeted.
"I pray for the well-being and speedy recovery of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I am confident he will be successful in recovering from the virus quickly. Wishing him strength and good health," Union Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
I pray for the well being and speedy recovery of Shri Pranab Mukherjee.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 10, 2020
I am confident he will be successful in recovering from the virus quickly. Wishing him strength and good health https://t.co/56TESwSUJs
"Wishing Former President Shri. Pranab Mukherjee a speedy recovery from COVID-19 and good health (sic)," Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar wrote.
A veteran statesman and leader, Mr Mukherjee is the author of several books on the Indian economy and nation-building.
According to a profile on his official website, he is a "prolific reader" and has been bestowed with numerous awards, including India's highest civilian award - the Bharat Ratna - in 2019. He also won the Best Parliamentarian Award in 1997 and the Best Administrator in India Award in 2011.
Several top politicians in the country, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, Congress leader Siddaramaiah, have tested positive for coronavirus in the last few weeks.
India is the third worst-hit country by the pandemic after the United States and Brazil. More worryingly, the country has also been recording a bigger single-day jump in fresh Covid infections than the US and Brazil for the last six days.
This morning, the country passed 22 lakh coronavirus cases, just four days after crossing the 20-lakh mark. Over 44,000 patients have died since the beginning of the pandemic.