- Jayalalithaa in ICU after cardiac arrest last night
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on heart, lung support system
- Crowd of supporters, police outside Apollo hospital
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who is in a very critical condition after a cardiac arrest according to hospital sources, has had a heart surgery this morning, her party the AIADMK said.
“There was an angio procedure this morning. Doctors say don’t worry, Amma will be fine,” said party spokesperson CR Saraswathi, adding, “we are telling cadres don’t worry. God is with Amma, she will come back. Definitely she will be ok.”
Ms Jayalalithaa, 68, had a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening and was put on an extracorporeal membrane heart assist device, a life support system that aids heart and lung functioning.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda said a team of four top doctors from Delhi’s prestigious AIIMS has been sent to Chennai on the request of Apollo Hospital, where the chief minister has been for the last three months.
Apollo has not put out a medical update this morning. Its Sangeeta Reddy tweeted last night, “TN CM #Jayalalita is critical. Multi speciality team @hospitalsapollo trying everything, including ecmo. Praying for her recovery.”
Ms Reddy said doctors were closely monitoring the chief minister’s condition and that “they are trying their best.”
Outside the hospital, hundreds of supporters of Amma or mother, as Ms Jayalalithaa is known to her millions of fans, have gathered weeping and praying and there is heavy security, with barricades put up. The police, on high alert, have blocked roads leading up to the hospital to avoid congestion.
Most of Tamil Nadu’s ministers are at the hospital – many of them were there overnight – as are top bureaucrats and Ms Jayalalithaa’s close aides Sasikala and Sheela Balakrishnan, a former chief secretary and adviser to the chief minister.
Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao flew to Chennai from Mumbai on Sunday evening after a conversation with union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Mr Rao visited the hospital and was there for about 10 minutes.
He has made no statement since but he reportedly briefed the Home Minister.
The police have asked people to not believe rumours and said law and order is under control. Press Trust of India reported on Sunday night that nine units of riot police, each with about 100 members, were being prepped to be flown into Tamil Nadu, if needed.
Ms Jayalalithaa was admitted at the Apollo hospital on September 22 and has been there since. Initially her party said she had dehydration and fever, but doctors later said she had an acute lung infection and was on respiratory support.
For several weeks, the hospital had reported much improvement in Ms Jayalalithaa’s health and said she could decide when to be discharged. Her party said she was directing important decisions and begun speaking.
On Saturday, the AIADMK had said Ms Jayalalithaa had been declared fully recovered by a team of doctors from AIIMS and would decide when to return home.