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Former PM Manmohan Singh Tests Positive for COVID-19, Admitted to AIIMS

Singh had taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with a mild fever on Monday afternoon.

Singh, 88, has been admitted to the AIIMS trauma centre here, which is a dedicated COVID facility, sources said, adding that his condition is stable.

They said Singh had a mild fever in the morning and later tested positive for COVID-19. The doctors are monitoring his condition. Singh had taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Sunday, April 18, Singh had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that ramping up the vaccination drive is key to battling the pandemic, asking the government to “resist the temptation to look at the absolute numbers being vaccinated, and focus instead on the percentage of the population vaccinated”.

Also read: ‘We Can Do Much Better’: Manmohan Singh Writes to PM Modi on COVID-19 Situation

He had added that India currently has vaccinated only a small fraction of its population, adding that with the right policy design, “We can do much better and very quickly.”

“There are many things we must do to fight the epidemic but a big part of this effort must be ramping up the vaccination programme,” he had said while making several suggestions.

Singh had said that he was forwarding his suggestions for consideration in a spirit of constructive cooperation in which he has always believed and acted upon.

In a starkly political response to Singh’s letter, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday, April 19, attacked the Congress party for apparently attempting to derail India’s vaccination drive.

Vardhan acknowledged that Singh’s emphasis on vaccination was shared by the government – and then launched into a boastful tirade. He highlighted that the “world’s biggest vaccination drive” has become the fastest to reach the milestones of 10, 11 and 12 crore administered doses.

In his reply, Vardhan said junior members of the Congress party must also follow Singh’s advice. “Quite obviously, it cannot be said that the discussion on total cases, active cases or mortality is based on absolute numbers, which the Congress party often tries to do,” the health minister said.

Vardhan continued to attack the Congress party, saying that members of the party and state governments formed by it “do not seem to share” Singh’s views. “It is shocking that senior members of the Congress party are yet to utter a single word of gratitude towards our scientist community and vaccine manufacturers for innovating under trying circumstances and empowering the world with vaccines,” the health minister added.

(With PTI inputs)