COVID-19 takes grip on Indian politicians, easily overhauls 18 lakh mark

Amit Shah, Yediyurappa, Shivraj Chouhan, Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit are COVID-19 positive

COVID-19 took India's politicians into its grip on Sunday with union home minister Amit Shah, Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit testing positive, and Uttar Pradesh minister Kamal Rani Verma succumbing to it

Further, the BJP's Uttar Pradesh chief, Swatantra Dev Singh, and UP minister Mahendra Singh have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Amit Shah, 55, Tweeted that 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 have had contact with him in the past few days to get tested for coronavirus and isolate themselves.

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 minister in UP cabinet, 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 co-morbidities, 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 home following doctors' advice.

Officials said that UP water minister Mahendra Singh too tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago and has been hospitalised.

Several other UP ministers have tested positive for the coronavirus: Jai Pratap Singh, Rajendra Pratap Singh alias Moti Singh, Chetan Chauhan, Dharam Singh Saini and Upendra Tiwari.

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.

According to a bulletin issued by the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai, Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit 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. 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 governor's office had then said none of them came into contact with Purohit or senior officials.

Several MLAs in Tamil Nadu have tested positive for COVID-19, while DMK legislator J Anbazhagan died of it in June.

Last week, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive. Some state ministers and BJP leaders who met him 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, passed away in June due to the coronavirus.

As per Sunday night figures, coronavirus cases in the country topped the 1.8 million mark, while the death toll has climbed to 38,158. Recoveries have increased to 11,45,629, while there are 5,67,730 active cases 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.

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