Jailed poet Varavara Rao tests positive for COVID-19

Jailed poet-activist Varavara Rao has tested positive for Covid-19, said a hospital official on Thursday.

The 80-year-old, lodged in the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai under judicial custody in Bhima Koregaon case, was admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital here earlier this week after enormous outrage by his family members and rights activists.

According to Dr Ranjeet Mankeshwar, dean of JJ Hospital, Rao’s medical report came on Thursday and he was found to be coronavirus positive.

His bail pleas, including those filed for relief on the ground of his age, ill-health and risk of COVID-19, have been rejected on multiple occasion.

Last week, wife and daughters of Varavara Rao told media his life is in danger and appealed the Centre and the Maharashtra government to provide him with immediate medical care.