Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday wondered why Union Home Minister Amit Shah opted for a private medical facility for treatment of the coronavirus disease instead of going to the state-run All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Shah, who tested positive on Sunday, has been admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram.
Tharoor’s comment came in response to a tweet posted by one Vishakh Cherian, who said the AIIMS was considered to be one of the “temples of modern India”, a concept coined by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“These projects were part of his [Nehru’s] vision of development of modern India with a mix of heavy industries, scientific research institutes, educational institutions, financial orgs [organisations], etc,” Cherian wrote, tagging Tharoor in the tweet.
Tharoor responded to the tweet and said he agreed with Cherian. “Wonder why our home minister, when ill, chose not to go to AIIMS but to a private hospital in a neighbouring state,” he added. “Public institutions need the patronage of the powerful if they are to inspire public confidence.”
Shah announced he has contracted the Covid-19 infection in a tweet on Sunday. The minister said he got tested after exhibiting initial symptoms of the infection.
Minutes after Shah’s tweet, social media users pointed out images of him not wearing his mask at an indoor event. On Saturday, the Union minister addressed the inaugural session of a webinar organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations on freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s 100th death anniversary.
Shah was also present in the last Cabinet meeting, where the New Education Policy was approved. Some reports suggested that the central government has said all the rules were followed during the Cabinet meeting.
Several other politicians have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last few days. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the chief of Uttar Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party unit Swatantra Dev Singh and Uttar Pradesh minister Mahendra Singh tested positive for the infection on Sunday.
On Monday, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram announced that he too had contracted the infection and was isolating himself at home. Yediyurappa’s daughter also tested positive for the coronavirus. She is admitted to Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru along with her father. Later in the day, six staff members of his office reportedly also contracted the infection.
India on Monday recorded 52,972 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number to more than 18 lakh. There have been 18,03,695 confirmed cases of the virus in the country now, of which 11,86,203 patients have been discharged.