Two of her relatives, both doctors, Sivakumar and Venkatesh were allowed to visit her.

Sasikala in red saree
news Sasikala hospitalisation Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 22:09

VK Sasikala, the close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, tested positive for the coronavirus in Bengaluru on Thursday. She is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Victoria Hospital, after being shifted from Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital earlier in the day. Incidentally, this is the third test that has returned positive for the former AIADMK General Secretary. Two earlier tests - a rapid antigen test and an RT-PCR test - had returned negative on Wednesday. 

According to sources close to Sasikala, the 66-year-old is currently stable and being monitored in the Intensive Care Unit. Two of her relatives, both doctors, Sivakumar and Venkatesh, were allowed to visit her. Her nephew and AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, is also in Bengaluru to monitor his aunt's health.

As per a medical bulletin released by Victoria Hospital at 5pm on Thursday, Sasikala’s CT scan showed “ground glass opacities and consolidation in bilateral lung fields” - considered indicative of COVID-19. While she is a diabetic and hypertensive, the 63-year-old is being treated for Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) with antibiotics, an antiviral, besides insulin, steroids and other supportive measures, stated the bulletin.   

She fell ill at the Parappana Agrahara Central prison in Bengaluru where she was lodged. According to a doctor at Bowring Hospital, where she was first admitted, Sasikala had had fever for two days and suffered from breathlessness, but had no fever when she was hospitalised. Though Sasikala contracted SARI, her COVID-19 tests had initially returned negative. The family then insisted on a CT scan of the chest which revealed the infection.

Even prior to her hospitalisation and subsequently testing positive for the coronavirus, Sasikala was affected by comorbities of the disease, including diabetes and hypertension, for which she was receiving treatment in prison. On arrival at the hospital, her oxygen saturation levels were 79 percent and she was being monitored with the help of supportive measures. The 66-year-old’s family had also reportedly expressed concern that a CT Scan was not done earlier on her earlier, despite her suffering from a respiratory infection. 

Sasikala is serving her four-year sentence at the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru following her conviction in the disproportionate assets case. Sasikala is slated to be released from prison on January 27.

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