Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury announced on Wednesday they have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), joining various party colleagues who have contracted the infection in recent days.
“After waiting two days for a test appointment, and another day and a half for the results, I finally have confirmation: I’m Covid positive. Hoping to deal with it in a ‘positive’ frame of mind, with rest, steam and plenty of fluids. My sister and 85-year-old mother are in the same boat,” Tharoor tweeted on Wednesday evening.
Chowdhury, meanwhile, tweeted: “I have been tested Covid positive, requesting all who came in contact with me for the last seven days must comply with Covid protocols. I will be continuing my campaign (for West Bengal assembly elections) through a virtual platform. I do suggest and request all to take utmost care to keep away Covid from your lives.” Chaudhary is the president of Congress’ West Bengal unit.
The respective announcements by Tharoor and Chowdhury come a day after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced he, too, tested positive for the viral disease. On Monday, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was admitted to the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi after testing positive for Covid-19. On April 20, senior party leader Anand Sharma announced his test result was also positive.
On Wednesday, Tharoor’s native state of Kerala recorded 22,414 fresh Covid-19 infections as well as 22 related deaths, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced at a press conference. The death toll, Vijayan said, exceeded 5,000 adding that 5,431 more people also recovered from the disease on the day.
Earlier, in the wake of the Covid-19 surge, Gandhi announced suspension of all his rallies in West Bengal while the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) said chief minister Mamata Banerjee will not campaign in the capital Kolkata anymore. The TMC said Banerjee will only hold a “symbolic” meeting in the city on April 26, days before the state votes in the eighth and final round on April 29, while curtailing her rallies in all other districts to just 30 minutes. The sixth round of polling in the eastern state will take place on Thursday.