New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been admitted to the Trauma Centre of Delhi’s AIIMS on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, according to media reports. The 88-year-old veteran Congress leader, who was administered a Covid test after registering a fever, was admitted at around 5 pm. AIIMS is expected to issue a more detailed statement soon.
Dr Singh has received his two vaccine doses of Covaxin – the first on March 4 and the second on April 3. Sources said he was shifted to hospital as “a matter of precaution”.
On Saturday Dr Singh participated in a meeting with top Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on the coronavirus situation in the country.
Following this he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, to offer some advice on handling a pandemic that has infected over 1.5 crore Indians and killed nearly 1.8 lakh.
He urged Prime Minister Modi to allow states to define categories of frontline workers that need to be vaccinated against Covid on priority “even if they are below 45 years of age”.
Dr Singh also urged the centre to place “enough” vaccine orders in advance, and that the distribution of jabs among states should be based on a “transparent formula”.
A shortage of Covid vaccines – India has two – Covaxin and Covishield – with doses Russia’s Sputnik V expected soon as well – has made headlines, setting up a back-and-forth between the centre and states that say they have shut down some vaccination centres due to a lack of doses.
In his letter Dr Singh stressed on ramping up the vaccination drive to defeat the virus and said the centre had to proactively support vaccine producers in expanding manufacturing facilities.
Dr Singh’s letter provoked a sharp and unflattering response from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, who attacked Congress and blamed it for fueling the second wave of the virus. India has reported a deeply frightening surge of Covid cases over the past few weeks.