On Sunday evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that he had contracted Covid-19. He had been tested after he showed symptoms. Soon after, it was reported that the 55-year-old politician had been hospitalised at Medanta, a private healthcare facility in Gurugram.

By Sunday, India has recorded over 17 lakh cases of Covid-19. On Sunday morning, 54,735 fresh cases were reported.

Later that evening, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He has been admitted to Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru, where doctors at the private facility said his condition is clinically stable and that he will be monitored closely, ANI reported.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit also tested positive for the virus on Sunday. He was asymptomatic and advised home isolation. His tests and other assessments were conducted at Kauvery Hospital, a private facility.

Several ministers in state cabinets have also contracted the disease. Most of them were treated at private healthcare facilities and not in public hospitals.

There were, however, exceptions. On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh’s Minister of Technical Education Kamal Rani Varun, 62, who had been admitted to the state-run Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, died of the virus, NDTV reported. She tested positive on July 18.

Privately administered care

Curiously, in the case of Amit Shah, a team from the Centrally-funded All India Institute of Medical Sciences is likely visit the private facility in Gurugram to treat him, ANI reported.

Last month, Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain tested positive for the virus. After he showed symptoms of the virus, Jain was admitted to the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital on June 15.

He first tested negative but the second test emerged as positive. On June 16, Jain was shifted to the privately-run Max Hospital in Delhi’s Saket. At the private facility, Jain was given plasma therapy which involves using the blood plasma of a person who has recovered from Covid-19 and infusing it into the blood stream of a patient with the disease.

Explaining his shift from a public hospital to a private one, Jain told The Hindu on July 21
that doctors had recommended plasma therapy for him but Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital did not have the permission to conduct the treatment from the Centre at the time, according to an interview.

He said that his wife had called up Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and was adamant that Jain be shifted, the report stated.

“My father-in-law had passed away a day before, so my wife was adamant that if the doctors have said that we need to get plasma, then we could wait any further,” Jain was quoted saying in the report.

On July 8, Tamil Nadu’s Electricity Minister P Thangamani tested positive for the virus and was treated at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, Times of India reported. He recovered on July 20.

The state’s Higher Education Minister KP Anbalagan tested positive for the virus on June 30 and Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju on July 10. Both received treatment at the Madras Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, another private facility in Chennai, the Times of India reported on July 17.

In Punjab, Rural Development Minister Tript Singh Bajwa, 77, tested positive for the virus on July 15 and was treated at Fortis Hospital in Mohali, Hindustan Times reported on July 16.

On July 25, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for the virus. Chouhan was admitted to Chirayu Hospital in Bhopal, a privately-run facility by Chirayu Health and Medicare Private Limited.

The state’s Congress unit criticised Chouhan for seeking treatment at a private hospital, Times of India reported on July 31.

The trend also caught the attention of some Twitter users.