Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu tests positive for COVID-19; on ventilator support

Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu, who was admitted to a private hospital here earlier this month after he complained of uneasiness, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is on life support, hospital officials said on Sunday.

The 72-year-old minister has been put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a heart-lung assistance machine, and ventilator support, the officials of Kauvery Hospital said.

Doraikkannu was rushed to the government medical college hospital in Villupuram on October 13 after he complained of uneasiness on his way to Salem from here. He was shifted to Kauvery Hospital the same day.

In a bulletin, the hospital said Doraikkannu was admitted with severe breathlessness and he has tested positive for COVID-19.

"He has multiple comorbidities and the latest CT scan shows 90 per cent lung involvement. He is currently on ECMO and ventilator, receiving maximal support," said Aravindan Selvaraj, executive director of Kauvery Hospital.

The minister is being closely monitored by a panel of specialist doctors in the intensive care unit, the hospital said.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami along with Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and Health Minister C Vijayabaskar visited the hospital and enquired about Doraikkannu's health. They also interacted with the agriculture minister's family members.

Doraikkannu, a native of Thanjavur district, was elected from the state's Papanasam constituency in the 2016 assembly elections.

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