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India's Interior Minister hospitalised with coronavirus

This article is more than 12 months old

NEW DELHI: India's Interior Minister Amit Shah said yesterday that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had been admitted to hospital.

Mr Amit Shah, a close aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the country's most powerful politicians, heads a key ministry that has been at the forefront of managing India's coronavirus outbreak.

"I request all of you who came in contact with me in the last few days to isolate yourselves and get tested," Mr Shah tweeted.

India has recorded more than 37,360 deaths from more than 1,750,720 cases.

In a separate development, the Philippines' health department vowed yesterday to update its gameplan against Covid-19 within a week and sought to beef up the healthcare workforce in the capital Manila, where medical front-liners are calling for reviving strict lockdowns.

The country yesterday reported 5,032cases, its largest single-day increase on record, taking the total to 103,185. The death toll jumped by 20 to 2,059.

It has the second-highest number of infections and deaths in the region, behind Indonesia.

In the largest call yet from medical experts to contain the virus, 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses, on Saturday said the Philippines was losing the fight against the disease and warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections without tighter controls.

In a statement issued following an unscheduled meeting late on Saturday of the government's coronavirus task force to address the concerns of doctors and nurses, the Department of Health said it would come up with an updated Covid-19 strategy within seven days.

The government appears reluctant to revive strict curbs on movement in the capital.

Still, the health department said it supports the healthcare workers' call for a "timeout" and would "proactively lead the implementation of effective localised lockdowns".

Meanwhile, Indonesia reported 1,519 cases yesterday, bringing its total to 111,455. There were 43 deaths, bringing the country's toll to 5,236.

Malaysia recorded 14 new cases yesterday, bringing its total number of infections to 8,999. The death toll remains at 125. - REUTERS, THE STAR

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