New Delhi: Over 8 crore cases of Covid-19 have been recorded across the world along with more than 17 lakh deaths. The pandemic did not spare anyone — from heads of states, ministers and MPs to actors, musicians, sports celebrities, all were infected and many even lost their lives.
Here is a list of the most prominent people who contracted the virus in India.
For politicians, attending official and public meetings, participating in relief work and interacting with their constituents are all part of daily routine and it did not change even during the pandemic. As a result, politics seems to be the field that got affected the maximum by the pandemic in India.
Across the country and the political spectrum, over three dozen politicians contracted the virus, and some of them even died.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah was the most prominent politician to be infected. Shah tested positive on 2 August and recovered from the infection but was admitted to AIIMS again on 18 August for post-Covid care.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari tested positive for coronavirus on 16 September.
Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, BJP national president J.P. Nadda, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat and Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Sadanand Gowda were the other cabinet ministers who contracted the virus.
Apart from leaders of national rank, some chief ministers also contracted Covid. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive on 25 July and released videos from his hospital bed asking people to stay safe. Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa was also hospitalised after he contracted the virus in August, but recovered in eight days as he had no serious symptoms. Siddaramaiah, former chief minister of Karnataka, contracted the virus in August.
Several Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs tested positive for the virus during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Congress’ Karti Chidambaram, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Manish Tewari, former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, BJP MP from Rajya Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia and actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol were some of the others who got infected. Scindia and his mother Madhavi Raje Scindia were admitted to a private hospital in Delhi.
Delhi was severely hit by the pandemic and saw several surges of the virus. The politicians of the national capital were also comparatively hit harder by the pandemic. Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain contracted the virus on 17 June and was also administered plasma therapy after developing pneumonia and complaints of breathlessness. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, MLA Atishi and Environment Minister Gopal Rai tested positive too.
On 5 December, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij contracted the virus, just days after he was administered a trial dose of Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin. Vij had volunteered to participate in the Phase 3 trials of Covaxin and could have received placebo instead of the vaccine shot, as is protocol in trials.
Politicians who succumbed to Covid
Among the most prominent personalities who died this year was former President Pranab Mukherjee. He passed away on 31 August. The 84-year-old had undergone a brain surgery earlier that month and had been on ventilator support since. He had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the surgery.
The Congress party, in particular, was hit hard by the pandemic as it lost some of its stalwarts to the virus, including senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel. The 71-year-old backroom poll strategist, consensus-builder and troubleshooter for the Congress had contracted the virus in October. His health worsened due to multiple organ failure and he died in November.
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, former Madhya Pradesh minister Motilal Vora, former cricketer and BJP leader Chetan Chauhan, former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel and former Union minister P. Namgyal also succumbed to the virus.
Bachchan family & others in film industry who tested positive
The entertainment industry also saw its share of Covid cases. Singer Kanika Kapoor became the first known face from the industry to contract the virus when she test positive in March. She was accused of deliberately evading airport screenings and attending a party after returning from the UK.
But the news of the Bachchan family getting Covid surprised everyone. Actors Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Bachchan and their daughter Aaradhya tested positive in July. In May, the actor had shared an update about working on the sets of the quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ during the lockdown in a tweet. Senior actor Neetu Singh and filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli of Bahubali fame also tested positive but later recovered.
Celebrities who died due to Covid
The Bengali cinema fraternity lost one of its greatest stars, senior actor Soumitra Chatterjee, to Covid-19 on 15 November. The 85-year-old actor had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on 6 October. After he tested negative, he was shifted to a non-Covid Intensive Trauma Unit (ITU). Since then, the veteran actor had been under expert medical care and was facing secondary infections and post-Covid complications.
Legendary singer S.P. Balasubramaniam, renowned poet and lyricist Rahat Indori and music composer Wajid Khan also died after being infected by Covid. Chef Floyd Cardoz, who gave American fine dining a unique Indian taste, also died at 59 due to the virus.