Sasikala improving; sister-in-law Ilavarasi also tests positive

The condition of V.K. Sasikala, aide of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late Jayalalithaa, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, was better on Saturday. She was shifted to the COVID-19 ICU at the Victoria Hospital, from the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, on Thursday.

Meanwhile, her sister-in-law J. Ilavarasi has also tested positive for COVID-19. According to Ms. Illavarasi’s advocate Asokan, she tested positive on Friday and was given initial treatment at the prison hospital. She was later shifted to the Trauma and Emergency Care Centre, the dedicated COVID-19 facility on Victoria Hospital premises. Mr. Asokan said both Ms. Sasikala and Ms. Ilavarasi were put in one barrack and there were no other occupants.

Doctors at Victoria Hospital, where Ms. Sasikala is being treated in the COVID-19 ICU, said her symptoms had reduced and she was conscious, alert, and well oriented. Her oxygen consumption too had reduced. On Saturday, she was maintaining 97% oxygen saturation with four litres of oxygen, said Ramesh Krishna K., Medical Superintendent of Victoria Hospital.

She was hospitalised on Wednesday evening, owing to fever, breathlessness, and cough, and was diagnosed with severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). Although her initial COVID-19 test result returned negative, a repeat RT-PCR test and TRUNAT were done, after her CT Thorax showed features suggestive of severe respiratory infection. The samples then returned positive for COVID-19.



Dr. Ramesh Krishna said Ms. Illavarasi was stable and asymptomatic. “Her chest CT shows minor changes. However, she is maintaining 98% oxygen saturation without any oxygen support. She has diabetes and hypertension,” he said. He added that she was being treated as per standard COVID-19 protocol. She has been put up in a special room owing to security reasons.

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Sagar Biswas

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