Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit have tested positive for coronavirus, the latest among prominent public figures in the country to have contracted COVID-19, while Uttar Pradesh minister Kamal Rani Verma succumbed to the infection on Sunday (August 2).
The chief of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit, Swatantra Dev Singh, and state minister Mahendra Singh have also tested positive for COVID-19.
Taking to Twitter, 55-year-old Shah said he had undergone a coronavirus test after showing initial symptoms. My health is fine but I am getting admitted to a hospital on the advice of doctors,” he tweeted in Hindi and requested those who had come in contact with him in the last few days to get tested for coronavirus and isolate themselves.
Shah has been actively leading efforts to fight the pandemic in the country where the case tally crossed the 17 lakh mark on Sunday.
Political leaders, including BJP president J P Nadda, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, DMK chief M K Stalin, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, wished Shah a speedy recovery.
In Uttar Pradesh, Kamal Rani Varun, the only woman cabinet minister in the state, died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Lucknow on Sunday. She was 62. The Technical Education minister, who tested positive for COVID-19 on July 18, breathed her last at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPIMS). She had comorbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and hyperthyroidism, a senior doctor at the hospital said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other leaders expressed grief over her demise.
Uttar Pradesh BJP unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh, said on Twitter that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and has quarantined himself at his home following doctors advice. Officials said that UP Jal Shakti Minister Mahendra Singh tested positive for COVID-19 around two-three days ago and has been hospitalised.
Earlier, state Health Minister Jai Pratap Singh, Rural Development Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh alias Moti Singh, Sainik Kalyan Minister Chetan Chauhan, Ayush Minister Dharam Singh Saini and Youth Development Minister Upendra Tiwari had tested positive for COVID-19.
On Sunday night, Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa tweeted that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is being hospitalised.
“Whilst I am fine, I am being hospitalised as a precaution on the recommendation of doctors. I request those who have come in contact with me recently to be observant and exercise self quarantine,” he said. Manipal Hospital where the chief minister is admitted said that “He is doing well, is clinically stable and will be monitored closely by our team,” in a statement issued late Sunday night.
Yediyurappa is the fourth member of his cabinet to contract the viral disease. Earlier, Forest Minister Anand Singh, Tourism Minister C T Ravi and Agriculture Minister B C Patil had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a bulletin issued by the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has tested positive for COVID-19, and has been advised home isolation since his infection was mild. Purohit, 80, was in self-isolation since July 29 after three people in the Raj Bhavan tested positive for the coronavirus.
The bulletin said the governor underwent further tests on Sunday. He has been advised home isolation and a medical team would monitor him.
Earlier, as many as 84 security and fire services personnel deployed in the Raj Bhavan tested positive for the virus on July 23, but the Governors office had then said none of them came into contact with Purohit or senior officials.
Several MLAs in the state had earlier tested positive for COVID-19, while DMK legislator J Anbazhagan had died in June.
Last week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had tested positive. Some state ministers and BJP leaders who met him had quarantined themselves at their homes Chouhan, 61, was admitted to a COVID-19 designated private hospital in Bhopal.
In West Bengal, Trinamool MLA Tamonash Ghosh, 60, had passed away in June due to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday said that he has tested negative for COVID-19 and will now be quarantining at home. The 77-year-old actor, who was admitted to Nanavati hospital in Mumbai along with son Abhishek after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 11, expressed his gratitude to well-wishers for their continued support and prayers.
Abhishek Bachchan, 44, however, said he is still COVID-19 positive and will remain under medical care.
According to the Union Home Ministry data, the total coronavirus cases surged to 17,50,723, on Sunday while the death toll climbed to 37,364.
The recoveries have increased to 11,45,629, while there are 5,67,730 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country. The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has risen to 65.44 per cent while the fatality rate has further dropped to 2.13 per cent.