Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced on Tuesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19 but had only mild symptoms and had moved into self-isolation, according to his post on Twitter. The minister joins a growing list of prominent politicians and celebrities who have tested positive in recent days.
"I have tested positive for Covid 19 today with mild symptoms. Following all the necessary protocols, I have isolated myself and I am under home quarantine. I request all those who have come in contact with me to isolate themselves and get tested," the Bhartiya Janata Party leader said in his tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enquired after the health of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, singer Lata Mangeshkar and Bihar JHU leader Nitish Kumar who have all tested positive for Covid-19. Mangeshkar is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai according to her sister Rachana who spoke to ANI. The singer is only mildly symptomatic and the ICU stay is a preventative considering her age, the ANI report said.
Gadkari, who holds the portfolio for transport and highways joins several party colleagues, such as defence minister Rajnath Singh, BJP national president JP Nadda, party vice-president Radha Mohan Singh, among others, in testing positive for the virus.
Given the accelerated pace of the Omicron variant of the virus across India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to oversee another Covid-review meeting online with the chief ministers of all states in order to discuss further precautionary measures and responses.
Reviewing the Covid situation at a high-level meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi had called for ensuring adequate health infrastructure at the district level and accelerating the vaccination drive for adolescents in mission mode. The vaccination drive for healthcare workers and elderly with comorbidities is ongoing.
India recorded 1,94,720 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, 15.9% higher than yesterday. Also, 165 deaths were reported in the country in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide toll to 4,84,378. Meanwhile, the country's Omicron tally stands at 4,868.