“Wonder why Home Minister chose not to go to AIIMS”: Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: “Public institutions need the patronage of the powerful if they are to inspire public confidence,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said on Monday, questioning why Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, has been admitted to a private hospital.

Mr Shah, 55, has been admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, neighbouring Delhi, sources said.

In a tweet on Sunday, the minister said his health was “fine” but he was being hospitalised “on the advice of doctors”. He also requested that all those “who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your inquiry done”.

Shashi Tharoor reacted to a tweet on the premier All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. AIIMS was established in 1956 when Jawaharal Nehru was the Prime Minister. “Wonder why our Home Minister, when ill, chose not to go to AIIMS but to a private hospital in a neighbouring state. Public institutions need the patronage of the powerful if they are to inspire public confidence.”

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan, both of whom have tested positive for COVID-19, too are admitted at private hospitals in Bengaluru and Bhopal respectively.

While Mr Yediyurappa, 77, has been admitted to Bengaluru’s Manipal Hospital, Mr Chouhan, 61, has been admitted to Bhopal’s Chirayu Hospital.

After Amit Shah tested positive for the virus which has infected over 18 lakh people in India, sources said extensive contact tracing will be carried out and anyone who came in contact with the minister will have to self-isolate. Mr Shah had taken part in a cabinet meeting last Wednesday, which was attended by all top ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. All safety norms, including social distancing, were followed at the crucial meet, where the National Education Policy was approved.

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