India’s interior minister hospitalized with coronavirus

In this file photo taken on February 1, 2020, India's Home Minister Amit Shah gestures as he arrives at the Parliament House in New Delhi. (AFP)
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Updated 02 August 2020

India’s interior minister hospitalized with coronavirus

  • Shah heads a ministry that has been at the forefront of managing the epidemic

NEW DELHI: India’s Interior Minister Amit Shah has been admitted to hospital after catching the coronavirus, he said on Sunday, becoming the most senior politician in the country to test positive for the disease.
Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, heads a ministry that has been at the forefront of managing the epidemic.
India’s coronavirus outbreak is the third worst in the world behind the United states and Brazil, with nearly 1.7 million confirmed cases and 36,500 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
“I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested,” Shah said in a tweet.
Shah, 55, said he had got himself tested after exhibiting initial symptoms of COVID-19. “My health is fine but I am being hospitalized on the advice of doctors,” he added.
An interior ministry spokesman said he was unable to immediately comment on when Shah had last met with Modi.
Indian movie star Amitabh Bachchan, who was hospitalized on July 11 after being diagnosed with COVID-19, was discharged after his latest coronavirus test came back negative, his son Abhishek Bachchan tweeted on Sunday.


COVID-19 spread harder to control without common effort says French PM as daily cases double

Updated 11 August 2020

COVID-19 spread harder to control without common effort says French PM as daily cases double

  • French health authorities reported 1,397 new COVID-19 infections over 24 hours on Tuesday
  • New clusters have mushroomed as people let their hair down on holiday, families hold reunions and workers return to offices

PARIS: The renewed spread of coronavirus in France could become harder to control without a collective effort to stop a rise in the infection rate, its prime minister said on Tuesday.
The public was becoming careless, Jean Castex warned, after official data recorded nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday. The epidemic has now killed more than 30,300 people in France.
French health authorities reported 1,397 new COVID-19 infections over 24 hours on Tuesday, almost twice Monday’s tally.
The Health Ministry website said there were 15 new deaths in hospital due the disease, compared to an increase of 16 over a three-day period between Monday and Saturday,
“If we don’t act collectively, we expose ourselves to the heightened risk that the rebound in the epidemic becomes hard to control,” Castex said during a visit to a hospital intensive care ward in southern France.
France’s 7-day moving average of new infections climbed to 1,640 on Monday from 1,056 on July 31. The 7-day measure reached a post lockdown low of 272 on May 27, a little over 2 weeks after the government eased one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.
But as in most neighboring European countries, new clusters have mushroomed as people let their hair down on holiday, families hold reunions and workers return to offices and France is desperate to avoid another full-scale lockdown.
Britain has said it will not hesitate putting more countries on its quarantine list, including France, where hordes of Britons spend their summer vacations.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron held a video conference with top ministers from his Riviera summer retreat.
During the meeting, it was decided France would draw up new restrictions for the 20 largest cities to curb the rising infection rate and that a ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people would be extended until Oct. 31.
Some cities have already taken action. Paris on Monday joined Toulouse, Lille, Biarritz and others in imposing a mandatory face mask order in crowded outdoor zones. They are already compulsory nationwide in shops and banks.
The prime minister said testing was “more than satisfactory,” with more than 600,000 tests being conducted weekly, but said more could still be done to target those with symptoms, the prime minister said.
Talking of the risk of another lockdown, Castex said: “no one wants to live through that again.”