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DMK MLA J Anbazhagan dies of Coronavirus; first death of a politician in Tamil Nadu due to COVID-19

The 61-year-old DMK legislator was admitted to Dr Rela Institute & Medical Centre in Chennai on June 2 with acute respiratory distress syndrome and his COVID-19 test returned positive at the time of admission.

SNS | New Delhi |

Tamil Nadu MLA J Anbazhagan, who had earlier tested positive for novel Coronavirus died at a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday morning.

The 61-year-old DMK legislator was admitted to Dr Rela Institute & Medical Centre in Chennai on June 2 with acute respiratory distress syndrome and his COVID-19 test returned positive at the time of admission.

Initially, he was managed with oxygen therapy through face mask but later on the MLA was put on ventilator support as his respiratory distress worsened. Further, his cardiac function also deteriorated, requiring medicine support for blood pressure.

As his condition improved in a few days, he was gradually weaned off the ventilator,

However, on June 8, the hospital informed that Anbazhagan’s existing chronic kidney disease had worsened and described his condition as critical.

Anbazhagan is the first lawmaker to test positive for Coronavirus and die of the infection in Tamil Nadu.

Incidentally, today was his birthday too, said party officials.

He represented the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni seat in the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.

Anbazhagan was first elected to the assembly in 2001 from the T Nagar constituency and later from Chepauk-Tiruvallikeni seat in 2011 and 2016.

The death of Anbazhagan has reduced the DMK’s strength in the assembly to 97. In February this year, two DMK legislators KPP Samy (Tiruvottiyur constituency) and S. Kathavarayan (Gudiyatham constituency) passed away.

Chief Minister K.Palaniswami condoled the death of Anbazhagan.

In a statement, DMK President MK Stalin expressed his grief and said the “heart fails to accept that party’s hardworker Anbazhagan is dead.”

Stalin further said that as a mark of respect for Anbazhagan, the party will observe three days of mourning and its flag will fly at halt staff.

He also informed all party functions stand postponed.

Meanwhile, even as the DMK has accused the state government of having failed to control the spread of Coronavirus, the ruling AIADMK allege that the leader caught the infection while participating in MK Stalin’s events to provide relief to people stranded by the coronavirus lockdown.

Tamil Nadu is the second worst Coronavirus-hit state after Maharashtra in terms of cases with 34,914 infections. As many as 307 people have succumbed to the infection in the state.