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Poet Varavara Rao tests positive for COVID-19

It is learnt that the 80-year-old human rights activist is likely to be shifted to St. George Hospital in South Mumbai since Sir JJ Hospital is a non-COVID hospital.

Poet Varavara Rao tests positive for COVID-19
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Poet and Human Rights Activist Varavara Rao has been tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Rao was moved to Mumbai’s Sir JJ Hospital on Monday night after his family informed about his deteriorating health and the urgent need for medical care. 

It is learnt that the 80-year-old human rights activist is likely to be shifted to St. George Hospital in South Mumbai near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) since Sir JJ Hospital is a non-COVID hospital. 

Dr Ranjit Mankeshwar, the dean of JJ Hospital, informed that Rao was not showing any symptoms of COVID-19 as of now and was in stable condition. The 80-year-old human rights activist has been in jail for nearly two years in the Elgar Parishad case and is lodged at Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai. 

During Rao’s admission in the Neurology Department of JJ Hospital, the doctors conducted tests to diagnose the health issues he has been facing and also samples for COVID-19 test were also taken from him. 

After Rao’s family conducted an urgent press conference to inform about his deteriorating health, Rao’s lawyer challenged a June 26 order by the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court to deny him temporary medical bail. 

Nihal Singh Rathod, a Nagpur based lawyer, emailed the authorities at Taloja jail seeking Rao's latest medical reports and the description of his condition. 

Approaching Bombay HC, his lawyer filed a petition seeking medical intervention for him. The plea filed by Rao seeking temporary bail is likely to be heard tomorrow before the Bombay HC. 

The family informed that Rao is hallucinating and was unable to take care of himself. A phone call from Rao on Saturday made the family worried about his health as he was talking about the funeral of his mother and father. 

On Tuesday, Rao’s family expressed concerns that he will be sent back to jail again after being provided basic treatment. Recalling that the activist was hurriedly discharged on June 1 and sent back to jail, the family feared that this might happen again while maintaining that he was not normal during his discharge earlier.  

The renowned Telugu poet has been booked under Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly instigating violence at the annual Bhima Koregaon event in 2018 and over an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with 10 others including lawyers and human rights activists. 

Also Read - Human Rights Activist Varavara Rao Moved To Mumbai's JJ Hospital

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