Former Himachal Pradesh CM Shanta Kumar's wife dies of COVID-19

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Shimla, Dec 29 (PTI) Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar's wife Santosh Shailja died due to COVID-19 in the early hours of Tuesday, Health Minister Rajiv Saizal said. She was 83.

She was cremated as per coronavirus protocols at a crematorium in Kangra's Palampur.

Shailja was undergoing treatment at Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College in Kangra's Tanda. She was admitted to the facility after testing positive for COVID-19 a few days ago.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda and Health Minister Rajiv Saizal prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the family members to bear the loss.

The chief minister also visited the residence of Kumar at Palampur to convey his condolences to the bereaved family.

Thakur said Shailja was an educationist, writer and social worker who always stood for the cause of poor and downtrodden people.

Himachal Pradesh BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna, co-incharge Sanjay Tandon and state BJP president Suresh Kashyap also expressed their grief.

Kumar was also admitted to Tanda hospital on Saturday, a day after he tested positive for the disease. His four family members, personal secretary, security officer and driver had also tested positive for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him on Sunday to enquire about his health. PTI DJI DPB