Tamil Nadu Agriculture Minister R Doraikannu, who was battling COVID-19, passed away on Saturday. He was 72. He had been availing treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai and had been critical as per a hospital statement issued on Saturday afternoon. A statement issued by Kauvery Hospital stated that he passed away at 11.15 pm on Saturday.
Kauvery Hospital Executive Director Dr Aravdindan Selvaraj said in a medical bulletin, "With deep grief, we announce the sad demise of Honourable Minister for Agriculture R Doraikkannu on Saturday at 11.15 pm. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving family during this difficult period."
Doraikkannu was undergoing treatment at Kauvery after being shifted from a government medical college hospital in Villupuram on October 13. He was admitted to the government hospital after he complained of uneasiness when he was on his way to attend the funeral of Davusayammal, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami's mother, who had died at the age of 93 at Salem. The Minister, who was travelling in his car, was rushed to the government medical college hospital in Villupuram and from there was shifted to Kauvery hospital the same day.
His health had suffered a significant deterioration in vital functions on Sunday last. The hospital had said on Monday that the Minister was being treated for severe COVID-19 related pneumonia and its complications. A CT scan had shown 90% of his lung to be infected and he was put on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and ventilator.
Doraikkannu was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from Papanasam in Thanjavur district in 2006, 2011 and 2016, with the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa inducting him into the cabinet in 2016.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled the death of the Minister. "Doraikkannu was known for his simplicity, humbleness, straightforwardness, governance skills and commitment towards the welfare of the farming community... He handled the Ministry of Agriculture with full dedication and engraved his strong mark. His untimely demise is an irreparable loss to the people of Tamil Nadu and particularly to the AIADMK party," he said in his condolence message.
(With inputs from PTI)