Chennai, December 5
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is on life support and continues to be in a very critical condition, a statement from Apollo Hospital said on Monday afternoon, a day after the 68-year-old leader suffered a cardiac arrest.
The six-time chief minister underwent an angioplasty surgery in the morning to repair her blood vessels and is being treated by a large team of doctors, including four heart and lung specialists flown in from Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “She continues to be very critical and is on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane heart assist device) and other life support systems,” the release said.
“She is being treated and closely monitored by a team of experts.”
The leader was admitted to the Chennai hospital more than two months ago with complaints of dehydration and high fever.
She was declared completely fit late last month but hours after a team of doctors cleared her to go home, she had a heart attack late Sunday. Thousands of her followers have gathered outside the hospital since Sunday evening and wishes have poured in from top politicians across the country.
Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has announced he would be travelling to Chennai to monitor the situation.
“We have sent a team from Delhi AIIMS to Chennai. They (Apollo Hospital) needed doctors and we have sent them that.
The government is doing whatever is possible for us. We hope and pray for Jayalalithaa’s speedy recovery,” Union health minister JP Nadda told
The Tamil Nadu capital was tense but calm as police cordoned off major streets with few buses, taxis and autos on the streets. Interstate bus services to Karnataka were suspended.
An AIADMK member from the state’s Cuddalore district died after hearing the news of Jayalalithaa’s deteriorating health condition on Sunday night. State police chief RK Rajendran said that 100,000 personnel were deployed across the state and leaves of all police officials were cancelled. The 68-year-old leader is currently admitted in Apollo Hospital’s critical care unit and is on a heart pump used to give breathing and heartbeat support.
“Doctors informed us early Morning that they carried out the angioplasty and that she is out of danger. Only then we breathed easy,” AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi said.
Later in an interview with television channel India Today, he said the AIADMK chief was out of danger needed intensive care unit support.
The actor-turned-politician won unprecedented back-to-back terms earlier this year on the back of her wild popularity in the state and commands cult status among her supporters, especially the rural poor. Thousands of them have started pouring into Chennai since Sunday night and are camping outside Apollo Hospital, many of them teary eyed and beating their chests in prayer for their beloved “Amma”.
Her party, the AIADMK, continues to maintain that she is fine. “Jayalalithaa who suffered cardiac arrest had surgery this morning; she’s fine,” AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi told Agencies.
Politicians across the country, including President Pranab Mukherjee, have wished the 68-year-old leader a speedy recovery.
“Very concerned about Jayalalitha Ji’s health. I pray for her speedy recovery. God bless her,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted. Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan & BJP Rajya Sabha member L Ganesan also visited the hospital.
State governor Vidyasagar Rao was monitoring situation closely with the help of the state administration and police and is keeping tabs on the medical condition of Jayalalithaa and treatment being given to her.
He has also reportedly briefed the Union home minister Rajnath Singh and also informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the latest situation.
Chennai, December 5