By Arré Bench Aug. 03, 2020
On Sunday evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah who had contracted Covid19, was hospitalised at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, one of India’s costliest private hospitals. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa was admitted to the private facility Manipal Hospital. Why don’t our netas trust government institutions?
While the news cycle gets consumed by the Sushant Singh Rajput case, the arrival of Rafale jets, and the Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan, coronavirus cases in India have crossed the 1.8 million mark with the death toll nearing 40,000. While the virus was earlier restricted to ordinary people who had to venture out for livelihood, as the cases go up, even Bollywood celebrities and politicians are not immune.
On Sunday evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter to announce that he had contracted Covid-19. Stating that his health was fine, he asked those who had come in contact with him over the last few days to get themselves isolated and tested.
कोरोना के शुरूआती लक्षण दिखने पर मैंने टेस्ट करवाया और रिपोर्ट पॉजिटिव आई है। मेरी तबीयत ठीक है परन्तु डॉक्टर्स की सलाह पर अस्पताल में भर्ती हो रहा हूँ। मेरा अनुरोध है कि आप में से जो भी लोग गत कुछ दिनों में मेरे संपर्क में आयें हैं, कृपया स्वयं को आइसोलेट कर अपनी जाँच करवाएं।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 2, 2020
The 55-year-old politician got himself tested after showing symptoms. Amit Shah has been hospitalised at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, one of India’s best and costliest private hospitals.
As per BJP MP Babul Supriyo, Amit Shah admitted to Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital in Haryana. One of India’s top most & costliest hospitals. https://t.co/M6DOKYAzk3
— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) August 2, 2020
Later in the same evening, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for coronavirus. ANI reported that he has been admitted to Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru, where doctors at the private facility said his condition is clinically stable and that he will be monitored closely.
I have tested positive for #coronavirus. Whilst I am fine, I am being hospitalised as a precaution on the recommendation of doctors. I request those who have come in contact with me recently to be observant and exercise self-quarantine: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa pic.twitter.com/EOWMLtcgf7
— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2020
On the same day, multiple administrators tested positive for coronavirus across states.
Leaders who have tested positive for Corona today:
1. Amit Shah, Union Home Minister
2. Banwarilal Purohit, TN Governor
3. BS Yediyurappa, Karnataka CM
4. Mahendra Singh, UP Jal Shakti Minister
5. Swatantra Dev Singh, UP BJP Chief
— Arvind Gunasekar (@arvindgunasekar) August 2, 2020
Several ministers from the centre as well as state governments have contracted the disease over the past few months. Most of them were treated and continue to be admitted in private hospitals instead of public ones, which has drawn some sharp criticism from social media.
Journalist Deepal Trivedi called for better public health infrastructure. “Why should our honorable home minister Amit Shah bhai be taken to a private hospital for #Covid_19 treatment rather than a government facility? If ministers and governments don’t trust and promote public hospitals, who will?” she asked.
— Deepal.Trivedi (@DeepalTrevedie) August 2, 2020
A similar sentiment was echoed by journalist Shivam Vij, who stated that politicians heading to private hospitals is proof of admission from the government that it doesn’t run great public healthcare.
Once again, a politician with Covid goes to a private hospital, proof that the government admits it doesn’t run great hospitals.
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) August 2, 2020
When the average person falls sick, he has to head to a government-built facility since he can’t afford the steep costs at private institutions. Getting beds and medicines is also a major challenge with distributors running a black market business to make a quick buck.
If anything, administrators should get themselves admitted to government facilities to get a first-hand experience of what it is like for the general population. It will also help them ascertain the gap in services between private and public healthcare. If they themselves don’t trust the facilities they have helped build, do they have a moral right to lecture others?