Sasikala hospitalised days before release; tests negative for COVID-19, diagnosed with SARI

Former AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala who was admitted to hospital on Wendesday has tested negative for COVID-19 but has been diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI).

Sasikala, close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was admitted to the Government Bowring Hospital on Wednesday after she complained of fever and breathlessness, days before her scheduled release from jail.

Sasikala, lodged at the Parappana Agrahara Prison, was sentenced to four years imprisonment in February 2017 in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case.

Her illness comes at a time when she is just a week away to walk free from the prison on January 27.

The expelled AIADMK leader arrived in an ambulance and was taken inside the Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute, also known as Bowring Hospital, in a wheelchair, hospital sources said.

Later, the director-cum-dean of the institute Dr Manoj Kumar H V said in a statement that the 63-year-old Sasikala, with comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes and hypothyroidism, has been admitted with cough and fever.

He said she was stable with supportive measures and antibiotics and oxygen.

"She will be further evaluated and monitored. Investigation reports are awaited," Dr Kumar added.

Earlier, a jail official told PTI she was getting treated for fever and breathlessness in the jail hospital.

"Now she will be taken to the Bowring hospital," the official had said.

The result of her RT-PCR test to determine if she is positive for the coronavirus, came negative, The News Minute reported.

Her nephew TTV Dhinakaran said her situation was stable.

"I've reliable info that Sasikala's health is stable, doctors are looking after her. She is being monitored properly. She needs oxygen due to some secondary infections. Doctors still deciding on whether CT scans are required or not," TTV Dhinakaran said.

(With PTI inputs)

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