The dozen Modi government ministers who tested Covid positive
The coronavirus pandemic has been running rampant in India for at least seven months, changing our way of life, society and business. It has killed more than 12 lakh people and infected more than 80 lakh. Among the affected are Chief Ministers, state ministers, MPs as well as key ministers in the Narendra Modi government.
New Delhi : The coronavirus pandemic has been running rampant in India for at least seven months, changing our way of life, society and business. It has killed more than 12 lakh people and infected more than 80 lakh. Among the affected are Chief Ministers, state ministers, MPs as well as key ministers in the Narendra Modi government.
At least a dozen members of the Union Council of Ministers were infected with the deadly virus. All but one recovered, though for a few, the recovery took longer.
Suresh Angadi: The only Union Minister to become a Covid-19 fatality was Suresh Angadi, the Minister of State for Railways, who succumbed at New Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences in late September. The 65-year-old leader was admitted to AIIMS earlier in the month after testing positive, ahead of the commencement of the Parliament's Monsoon Session.
Born on June 1, 1955 in Karnataka's Belagavi, Angadi held several party positions in his political career and was an MP since 2004, before becoming a Union Minister in Modi's second regime.
Amit Shah: The biggest name in the Modi cabinet who was infected by the coronavirus was Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Testing positive in early August, he was hospitalised at Gurugram's Medanta hospital.
Even after he was tested negative and released, he had to be rushed into AIIMS in September for post-Covid complications. It is widely seen to be the reason he stayed away from visiting Bengal before Durga Puja this time. However, now Shah is said to be fit and ready for the grind.
Smriti Irani: Another high-profile minister to recently test positive was Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani. She announced her infection on Twitter, and asked all contacts to get themselves tested.
Nitin Gadkari: Another top ministers in the Modi cabinet to get infected was Union Road Transport and Highways, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Nitin Gadkari in mid-September. He had self-isolated himself after his test results.
Dharmendra Pradhan: In early August, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced on social media that he had initial symptoms of Covid-19 following which he got himself tested. Following the positive result, he had got himself admitted into a hospital.
Ever since, not just Pradhan has recovered but has also donated blood plasma for the treatment of serious Covid-19 patients at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. He in fact, has urged all Covid-19 recovered people to come forward and donate plasma to aid the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Pralhad Joshi: A day after holding a press conference, with Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi by his side early this October, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi too was detected with Covid-19.
He had said he was asymptomatic and was going into home quarantine. However, he is now fit.
Ramdas Athawale: Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale - who coined the 'Go Corona' slogan in April, also tested positive for Covid-19 in late October and was admitted to a hospital.
Head of Republican Party of India-A, Athawale, 60 made the announcement through social media, soon after a crowded function in Mumbai when actresses Payal Ghosh, and some others joined his party.
Arjun Ram Meghwal: Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Meghwal, who had earlier endorsed an indigenous 'papad' brand claiming that eating it will help fight the virus, had tested Covid positive early in August and was admitted to the AIIMS. He was discharged in the middle of the month.
Prahlad Singh Patel: Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel tested positive for Covid-19 in mid September, sending a scare among many as he had attended Parliament proceedings and had answered his ministry related questions. However, Patel is now fit and has been attending his ministry regularly.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was another Modi minister who tested positive for coronavirus in August, and was admitted to a hospital.
Shripad Y. Naik: Union Minister of State for Defence and AYUSH Shripad Naik did not have an easy recovery like many of his colleagues after testing positive for Covid in August, spending a a month in hospital before being discharged.
Kailash Choudhary: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary was another minister infected in August. He also has recovered and is back at work.
The fact that at least a dozen Union Ministers were affected and one died and two others did not have easy recovery despite the best treatment reinforces the Prime Minister's caution that this pandemic should not be taken lightly, and is a stark reminder ahead of the ongoing festive season when the rush is back on the roads.