The most powerful person in the country after Prime Minister Modi – Union Minister Amit Shah -- has tested positive for coronavirus, a re-affirmation of the truism that corona seems to spare none – whatever their position or status in life.
As social media was swamped with get well messages, cynics pointed out that if Shah can get infected despite being ensconced in a sanitised environment and after religiously adhering to all the rigours of protocols laid down by his ministry and ICMR, can the common man keep himself insulated from the pandemic?The Union minister took to twitter to inform about his health and requested all those who have come in contact with him in the last few days to get themselves tested for coronavirus. Incidentally, on July 29, he had attended the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by PM Modi, which had cleared the new education policy.
As per ICMR guidelines, contact tracing will be undertaken and that includes all those who recently came in contact with Shah; however, it is unclear whether all cabinet ministers will be tested for coronavirus or not. Sources said that social distancing was strictly followed in the Cabinet meeting and all ministers were wearing masks.
Shah reassured the nation that his health is fine and he is being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. He was admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram at around 4:30 pm.
"On getting initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request that all those who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your inquiry done," Shah said in a tweet.
The entry to the Medanta hospital has reportedly been barred for now; Shah is in a room on the 14th floor under Dr Sushil Kataria's care. A team of doctors led by AIIMS director Randeep Guleria visited the hospital to see Shah.
Shah was on the list of Ayodhya invitees for the Bhoomi Pujan that is slated to take place on August 5; several cabinet ministers, who have come in close contact with Shah in recent meetings, are also on the invitee list for the event. To that extent, the Bhumi Pujan will be impacted.
Scores of politicians wished him a speedy recovery with BJP leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ram Madhav exuding hope that that he would return to serve the nation with the "same boundless energy" soon.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also wished the home minister a speedy recovery. Union Minister Gen VK Singh said, "You have defeated many adversities in life, and I am sure you will overcome this one too. I wish you a speedy recovery." Among others who wished him were Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
BJP leader Babul Supriyo was the first to admit that he had met Shah a day before and has been advised by doctors to isolate himself. Supriyo said he will be staying away from his family members for the next few days and undergo a Covid-19 test as well. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has isolated himself and will also be tested.
Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda, Harsimrat Kaur, Vijay Rupani and Jitendra Singh were among the first few leaders from the NDA who tweeted praying for Shah's recovery. "Amitji, your perseverance and willpower has been an example for every challenge. You will definitely win over this big challenge of corona virus, I believe so. You are healthy as soon as possible, this is my prayer to God," tweeted defence minister Rajnath Singh.
There is strict protocol in place at PM's residence as well for the last few months. Temperature checks, Aarogya Setu checks, no use of internal cars to ferry people, are some of the measures that have been adopted and are being followed, sources said.