- Karunanidhi who was in hospital for over a week, has jaundice: Sources
- The hospital said maintaining his vital organ functions, a challenge
- Response to treatment in next 24 hours to determine prognosis: Hospital
The health of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, who is admitted in Chennai's Kauvery hospital for more than a week, has taken a turn for the worse. The hospital said maintaining his vital organ functions remains a challenge in view of his age-related ailments."He is on continuous monitoring and being treated with active medical support. His response to the medical intervention over the next 24 hours will determine the prognosis," a statement from the hospital read.
Hospital and DMK sources said Mr Karunanidhi contracted jaundice and is facing difficulty breathing, which is leading to a "fluctuation in his condition".
The 94-year-old was admitted in hospital on July 28 after he contracted urinary tract infection. After a health scare days later, the doctors had advised a longer stay, citing "age related overall decline in his general health, altered liver function and haematological parameters".
Since then, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkiah Naidu and a number of political leaders across party lines - including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, actor-politicians Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth -- have visited him in the hospital.
Earlier today, Mr Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal visited him for the first time since he was hospitalised. Wheel-chair bound, she arrived in a vehicle usually used by the DMK chief. Her health has also been on the decline, over the past few months.
Mr Karunanidhi was recovering from illness when he contracted the infection last month. He had to be admitted in hospital when his fever spiked.
A five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr Karunanidhi has lately been living a secluded life. For more than a year, he has not made any public appearance except occasional visits to his party office. On July 18, he was admitted in hospital for a change of tracheostomy tube.
On July 29, when his health suffered a setback, thousands of DMK workers and supporters had hit the streets, praying through the night for "Kalaignar's" (artiste) recovery. Chief Minister Palaniswamy had cut short his visit to Salem and rushed back to Chennai. But the crisis passed and in a late night bulletin, the hospital called it a "transient setback".
Many of the supporters still visit everyday, waiting for him to recuperate fully. Hundreds of party workers are staying put outside the hospital, bracing rain and extreme heat, often cheering "rise up and walk, leader".