Coronavirus | Sasikala tests positive for COVID-19

Jayalalithaa’s aide shifted to ICU; condition stable, say doctors.

The late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s aide V.K. Sasikala, who was hospitalised on Wednesday evening owing to fever, breathlessness and cough, tested positive for COVID-19 late on Thursday night. Doctors said her condition is stable as of now.

She was earlier diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) and had been shifted to the ICU in Victoria Hospital. However, her CT Thorax showed features suggestive of severe respiratory infection. Although she had initially tested negative for COVID-19, doctors did a TRUNAT test and also repeated a RT-PCR test.

Victoria Hospital Medical Superintendent Ramesh Krishna K. told The Hindu that her general condition is stable. She has Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and hypothyroidism, apart from SARI symptoms. She was referred to Victoria Hospital from the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital on Thursday morning, he said.

C.R. Jayanthi, Dean and Director, Bengaluru Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), to which Victoria Hospital is affiliated, said Sasikala’s first COVID-19 test at Bowring Hospital was negative. “However, since her CT scores were high, we again did a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at Victoria, which was also negative. Following that we had collected samples for TRUNAT and RT-PCR tests and they have returned positive.”

“We are shifting her to the COVID Block ICU at the Trauma and Emergency Care Centre (TECC), the dedicated COVID facility on Victoria Hospital campus. As of now, she is being continuously monitored and treated with antibiotics, antiviral drugs, insulin, heparin, steroids, and other supportive measures,” the doctor said.

Earlier in the day, Manoj Kumar H.V., Dean and Director, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru, had said that she was doing well and her fever had subsided. “Since she has SARI symptoms we have referred her to Victoria for a CT scan. She can be discharged in two-three days,” Dr. Manoj Kumar had said.

Sasikala, who was lodged at the Parappana Agrahara Prison here, was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in February 2017 in a ₹66 crore disproportionate assets case. She is set to be released on January 27.

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