New Delhi: Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s visit to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the capital to enquire about former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s health Thursday has become controversial with Singh’s daughter, Daman Singh, accusing the minister of getting in a photographer against the wishes of the family.
Daman told ThePrint that her mother was very upset because a photographer had entered the room along with the minister. But when she insisted that the photographer leave the room, “she was completely ignored”.
“She was very upset. My parents are trying to cope in a difficult situation. They are elderly people. Not animals in a zoo,” Daman told ThePrint.
ThePrint reached the health ministry and Mandaviya’s office over WhatsApp and email for a comment, but there was no response from either until the time of publishing this report. However, a government source said that as the president of AIIMS, it has been a convention of health ministers to check on ailing present or former occupants of Constitutional posts who are admitted at the premier medical institute.
This, the source said, is done to ensure they are not wanting in any treatment of care possible in AIIMS, and this is done without any whiff of politics.
Daman said her parents had expressly insisted that visitors be restricted because her father is suffering from dengue and his immunity is low, and there is the risk of infection. The former PM had contracted Covid-19 in April, at the height of the second wave in Delhi, despite two doses of the vaccine.
“It was nice of the health minister to visit and express his concern,” Daman said, adding, “However, my parents were in no state to be photographed at the time.”
So when “my mother insisted that the photographer should leave the room, she was completely ignored. She was very upset,” she said.
The former PM was rushed to the AIIMS Wednesday evening because he was suffering from fever and weakness, which was diagnosed as dengue. His condition is “stable, but his immunity is low,” Manmohan’s daughter said.
Modi wishes Manmohan speedy recovery
News of former PM’s hospitalisation had triggered national concern. Prime Minister Modi had tweeted his get well soon wishes, as did the health minister.
“I pray for the good health and speedy recovery of Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji,” Modi tweeted.
I pray for the good health and speedy recovery of Dr. Manmohan Singh Ji.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 14, 2021
आज पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री डॉ. मनमोहन सिंह जी से AIIMS, नई दिल्ली में मुलाक़ात की व उनके स्वास्थ्य के विषय में जानकारी ली।
मैं उनके शीघ्र स्वस्थ होने की कामना करता हूं।
— Dr Mansukh Mandaviya (@mansukhmandviya) October 14, 2021
TV visuals and photos of health minister Mandaviya being escorted into the AIIMS ward have since flooded social media.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.