CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said his son Ashish died of COVID-19 in the morning. Ashish, a journalist by profession who would have celebrated his 35th birthday on June 9, was recovering well at Gurgaon's Medanta Hospital, people close to the family added. They described his sudden death at 5.30 am after a two-week battle with the disease as a shock. "It is with great sadness that I have to inform that I lost my elder son Ashish Yechury to COVID-19 this morning. I want to thank all those who gave us hope and who treated him – doctors, nurses, frontline health workers, sanitation workers and innumerable others who stood by us," Yechury said on Twitter.
Ashish, who studied at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, worked in several publications, including the Times of India in Delhi, before moving to Pune. As news of the death came in, condolences for the family poured in from political leaders, including from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Condolences to Shri Sitaram Yechury Ji and his family on the tragic and untimely demise of his son, Ashish. Om Shanti," Modi said on Twitter. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her "shock" at Ashish's death. National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said in a tweet: "My heart goes out to @SitaramYechury and his family. No words are enough at a time like this but sadly words of sympathy & condolence are all we have to offer. May his son Ashish's soul rest in peace & may the family find strength at this difficult time."