OKEKUNLE SUNDAY, IBADAN
Amit Shah, India’s Interior Minister, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
is the most senior Indian politician to have tested positive for coronavirus, and also the latest high-profile public figure in the country to be diagnosed with COVID-19 since actor Amitabh Bachchan and members of his family revealed they had tested positive last month.
Bachchan, who was hospitalised on July 11, was discharged after his latest coronavirus test came back negative.
Shah admitted to hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.
“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” the 55-year-old wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
His actor son, Abhishek Bachchan, who is still in the Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital with the virus, said his father would rest at home.
Bollywood superstar and Abhishek Bachchan’s wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and their eight-year-old daughter, who also contracted the virus, left the hospital last week after recovering.
Shah was appointed BJP president shortly after Modi’s election win in 2014, a post he held until earlier this year. Modi named him to the powerful home ministry after he was re-elected last year.
Shah’s tenure as interior minister has been marked with controversy after the revocation of Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed Indian-administered Kashmir a level of self-autonomy, as well the introduction of the National Register of Citizens, or NRC – an exercise to identify undocumented people across India.
Shah heads a ministry that has been at the forefront of managing the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
India has the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world behind the United States and Brazil, with nearly 1.75 million confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The number of related deaths stands at more than 37,000, and there have also been almost 1.15 million recoveries.
Shah said he got himself tested after exhibiting initial symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
My health is fine but I am being hospitalised on the advice of doctors,” he added.
🙏🏽 my father, thankfully, has tested negative on his latest Covid-19 test and has been discharged from the hospital. He will now be at home and rest. Thank you all for all your prayers and wishes for him. 🙏🏽
— Abhishek Bachchan (@juniorbachchan) August 2, 2020