After a hectic election season in which campaigning meant that not all COVID-19 safety norms could be followed, several candidates and leaders have tested positive for the infection.
Congress candidate for Srivilliputhur P.S.W. Madhava Rao died on Sunday after he was admitted to hospital for COVID-19 symptoms.
Sources said he was admitted to a private hospital in Madurai on March 30 after he developed fever, cough and body pain. While he was moved to the ICU, Mr. Rao’s RT-PCR test result came in negative. “Though he tested negative, we took all precautions and put him in an isolation ward,” said K. Praveen, Assistant Director (Medical Service), Apollo Hospitals. Mr. Rao died of viral pneumonia.
Congress national secretary Sanjay Dutt had earlier said Mr. Rao could not campaign owing to COVID-19 infection, and his daughter, Dhivya Rao, filled in for him. His body was taken to his home at Khadi Board Colony at Srivilliputtur. ,where leaders of the Secular Progressive Alliance paid homage. The final rites will take place on Monday, said Congress Virudhunagar West district unit president A. Rengasamy.
DMK general secretary and Katpadi candidate Durai Murugan, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week and was under home quarantine initially, was admitted to Dr. Rela Institute and Medical Centre in Chennai. Sources said he was doing well, and there were no serious complications.
BJP State vice-president and Aravakurichi candidate K. Annamalai has tested positive. After sensing symptoms for the past few days, the former IPS officer got himself tested at a private hospital in Coimbatore on Sunday. In a tweet, he asked those he had worked with him during the campaign to get themselves tested.
Former Minister and AIADMK Palladam candidate M.S.M. Anandan was admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore on Sunday after he tested positive. On Saturday, CPI candidate for Tiruppur North M. Subramanian tested positive. He appealed to those who were in contact with him in the last several days to get themselves tested. As he was asymptomatic, he quarantined himself at home.
Among the other prominent candidates and campaigners who tested positive during the campaign include DMK MP Kanimozhi, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader M. H. Jawahirullah, former Minister and DMK Kurinjipadi candidate M.R.K. Panneerselvam, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member G. Ramakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri and Makkal Needhi Maiam Velachery candidate Santhosh Babu and Anna Nagar candidate V. Ponraj. AIADMK Karaikal South candidate A.U. Asana, and CPI candidate for Sivaganga Gunasekaran also tested positive.