Ramesh Jarkiholi tests COVID positive, undergoing treatment: Doctor

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Belagavi (K'taka), Apr 5 (PTI) Former Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, allegedly involved in the scandal that has rocked state politics, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently undergoing treatment at Gokak taluk hospital, a doctor treating him said on Monday.

'On Thursday night, he had complained of fever and cough, on conducting rapid (antigen) test the result came out to be positive, as he had no other issues, he was advised home isolation,' Dr Ravindra of the Gokak taluk hospital said.

Speaking to reporters, the doctor said, last night at about 10.30 he complained of breathing issues, so he was admitted and is undergoing treatment for COVID.

'Sugar and BP is bit high, but he is stable...he (Jarkiholi) is currently in ICU, depending on the situation we will decide...also two of his contacts have tested positive,' he said, adding that the Gokak MLA had a travel history of Maharashtra and Bengaluru where there are high number of cases.

Jarkiholi, who is facing charges of sexual abuse, had failed to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) officials on Friday, citing health issues.

He was earlier subjected to questioning on March 29, during which he had sought four days time to answer their questions.

Jarkiholi's lawyer Shyam Sundar speaking to reporters in Bengaluru said, last time when the interrogation notice had come from the investigation officers, his client was unwell.

'He (Jarkiholi) had cold and body pain, also some eye related issues, I had informed the investigation officers the same and told them that he will appear another day, there was no further notice after that. I have been now officially informed that he has tested positive for COVID and was admitted at the Gokak government hospital,' he said.

Based on inputs from the doctors as to when he will be fit, accordingly will inform it to investigation officers, the advocate added.

Urban development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj too earlier in the day said, Ramesh Jarkiholi has tested positive for coronavirus, and after recovery will participate in Belgaum Lok Sabha bypoll campaign.

Belgaum Lok Sabha seat, in Belagavi, the home district of Jarkiholi will go for bypolls on April 17.

The woman allegedly involved in the CD scandal had on Sunday in a letter to the city Police Commissioner Kamal Pant asked the police to quiz the accused (Jarkiholi), without giving in to any pressure.

An FIR was registered against Jarkiholi on March 26 based on a written complaint by the woman through her lawyer.

Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister in Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led cabinet had resigned on March three, a day after news channels aired videos of the alleged sex scandal.

While Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed his innocence and that the video was 'fake', the woman in the purported sex video has accused him of sexually 'using' her, cheating and threatening her after promising a government job.PTI KSU SS PTI PTI