Sources said the minister, 55, got himself tested after showing symptoms of Covid-19 and added that he was “stable”.
All those who came in contact with him in the last few days have been advised to isolate and get tested if they had symptoms of the disease. Shah appealed to them to take precautions. “I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” he tweeted.
कोरोना के शुरूआती लक्षण दिखने पर मैंने टेस्ट करवाया और रिपोर्ट पॉजिटिव आई है। मेरी तबीयत ठीक है परन्तु डॉक्टर्स की… https://t.co/D1Jhi6tG1t
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1596366832000
Home secretary A K Bhalla, it is learnt, has decided to get himself tested, while minister of state for environment Babul Supriyo, who had recently met Shah, said he has isolated himself.
Shah had attended the last meeting of the Union Cabinet at the PM’s residence, but sources in the government emphasised “social distancing” norms were strictly followed on such occasions, with the attendees having to mandatorily wear masks.
I pray for the speedy recovery of Hon’ble Home Minister Shri @AmitShah ji https://t.co/i26dkb6Q1q
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) 1596369911000
“A strict protocol has been been in force at the PM’s residence during the last few months. Temperature checks and Aarogya Setu checks are mandatory and internal cars are not allowed, contrary to the practice in pre-Covid times, for ferrying visitors. Physical meetings are mostly avoided and virtual interactions are preferred,” a source said.
Wishing Mr Amit Shah a speedy recovery.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) 1596372866000
As home minister and a key figure of the saffron establishment, Shah keeps a punishing schedule, holding multiple interactions during the day. He has diabetes, one of the co-morbidities known to raise the risk of complications in Covid-19 patients.
Heard about the Union Home Minister Shri @AmitShah Ji being tested positive for #COVID-19. Wishing him a speedy rec… https://t.co/27IibnMKLJ
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) 1596369231000
This was the reason, doctors said, it was decided to get him admitted to hospital even though he was stable. “The head of internal medicine at Medanta, Dr Sushila Kataria, will be leading the team of doctors treating him. She was also involved in the treatment of 14 Italian tourists who were diagnosed with Covid-19 and rushed to Medanta on March 4,” a source said.
They added that a team of doctors from AIIMS, led by institute director Dr Randeep Guleria, will assist in deciding the course of treatment.
Incidentally, rumours about Shah having contacted the virus had raged for several days mid-April onwards soon after the imposition of lockdown. They did not go away despite photographs showing Shah’s participation in crucial meetings, leading him to mock his “well-wishers” who had declared him infected months ago.
Being in-charge of the home ministry, the nodal ministry for managing Covid-19 response, Shah actively intervened when infections surged in the capital. His visit to LNJP Hospital — a government facility which became the symbol of the seriousness of the threat of the disease after the Supreme Court raised concerns over its state of affairs — was seen as a turning point and led to the Centre’s deeper engagement in the battle against the public health emergency.
Shah got the health ministry, Delhi government and the LG to work together to hammer out a unified response to the challenge. In September last year, Shah underwent a minor surgery for removal of ‘lipoma on the back of his neck’ at a private hospital in Ahmedabad.