India

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tests Positive, Admitted To Hospital

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tests Positive, Admitted To Hospital

Dharmendra Pradhan has been admitted to hospital on doctors' recommendation (File)

New Delhi:

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted Tuesday evening to say that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and that he had admitted himself to hospital on the advice of his doctors. Mr Pradhan, who described himself as "healthy", has been admitted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon near Delhi.

He is the second central minister to be infected by the COVID-19 virus; on Sunday Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that he had tested positive. Mr Shah is also undergoing treatment at Medanta Hospital.

"After noticing the symptoms, I got myself tested for COVID-19. The report is positive. I am healthy but, on the advice of doctors, I have hospitalised myself," Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted.

Shortly after Mr Shah announced that he was COVID-19-positive, it emerged that he had attended a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were among those present.

All ministers at that meeting were asked to take tests. So far, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Jal Shakti minister, has tested negative, while Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has gone into self-isolation.

Sources later said that all necessary precautions had been taken during the meeting. They also said that there is a strict coronavirus protocol at PM Modi's official residence, where cabinet meetings are held. 

Mr Shah, however, urged all those who had come into contact with him over the past week to go into self-isolation and get themselves tested.

Dharmendra Pradhan was not at that meeting but it is believed he did meet the Home Minister at a later date. Another union minister, Babul Supriyo, tweeted after Amit Shah's appeal, admitting that he had the home minister and would self-isolate for a few days before taking a COVID-19 test.

Apart from Mr Shah and Mr Pradhan, the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, BS Yediyurappa and Shivraj Singh Chouhan respectively, are also COVID-19-positive, as is Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

All three have been admitted to private hospitals in their states - Mr Yediyurappa to Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru, Mr Chouhan to Chirayu Hospital in Bhopal and Mr Purohit to Chennai's Kavery Hospital.

On Sunday UP minister Kamal Rani Varun, 62, died at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Science.

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Covid cases across India increased by more than 50,000 for the sixth straight day today, with 52,050 cases taking the national tally past the 18.5 lakh-mark.

The continuing spike in cases comes as India re-opens its economy after more than four months of the world's strictest lockdown. Unlock3, the third phase of easing of restrictions, came into effect on Saturday.