Two of India’s leading political figures have contracted COVID-19. Amit Shah, the Union Minister of Home Affairs, and B. S. Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, have both tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) or simply coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
“I have tested positive for coronavirus,” announced Yediyurappa, aged 77, on Sunday via Twitter. “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.” Yediyurappa is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and represents Shikaripura in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
Shah, aged 55, told his Twitter followers that “on getting the initial symptoms of corona, 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 of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your inquiry done.” Shah is presently admitted to the multi-super speciality Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, located in the state of Haryana in the National Capital Region. Also a member of the BJP, Shah represents Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha and is president of the National Democratic Alliance.
Shah’s condition has been the subject of substantial attention, given that he just last week attended a meeting of the Union Cabinet where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present alongside other senior government officials such as Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman. Reports indicate physical distancing measures were observed at the time.
A number of political figures globally have contracted COVID-19 – among them Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson and President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. In India, aside from Shah and Yediyurappa, a number of political figures have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among them are Banwarilal Purohit, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, and Kamal Rani Varun, the Minister of Technical Education in Uttar Pradesh’s state government. Unfortunately, Varun died aged 62 after testing positive for the virus. She is survived by her daughter.
India has risen through the ranks of countries afflicted by COVID-19, having surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Per Worldometer data, 1,852,156 COVID-19 patients have been confirmed in the country at the time of writing with 38,532 deaths as a result. The active case count stands at 613,321, with 1,200,303 people having recovered.