Tamil actor Vivekh died at a Chennai hospital early on Saturday, reported The Indian Express. He was 59.
Vivekh was admitted to the intensive care unit of the SIMS hospital in Chennai after he suffered a heart attack on Friday morning. He was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO support.
The hospital said the actor was brought there in an unconscious state. “He was resuscitated in the emergency room by specialists,” it added. “Later he underwent Emergency Coronary Angiogram followed by Angioplasty.”
The actor was administered his first dose of Covaxin vaccine on Thursday, sparking speculation about whether he had suffered from an adverse reaction of the vaccine. However, the hospital dismissed the claim, saying his condition was a separate cardiac event. “This is an acute coronary syndrome with cardiogenic shock,” the SIMS hospital said. “It may not be due to Covid-19 vaccination.”
The 59-year-old actor opted to get his vaccination from a public hospital in Tamil Nadu, in a bid to encourage others to get themselves inoculated against Covid-19. “The government hospitals provide healthcare services to the majority of poor people,” he had said on Thursday. “Many have doubts about vaccination and its side effects. There are also several rumours doing the rounds. I want to put an end to all the rumours. I want to show people that there is no danger in getting vaccinated.”
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan, who met the medical team attending Vivekh on Friday, too said there was no connection between the actor’s health and the vaccine. “Usually, a vaccine reaction occurs within 15 to 30 minutes,” Radhakrishnan said, according to PTI. “Such is not his case.”
The health official added that six other people had taken the shots along with Vivekh. “Nearly 23,000 people have been administered the Covaxin at the hospital here and 5.68 lakh throughout Tamil Nadu, so far,” he said. “There has been no adverse reaction anywhere.”
Vivekh, who was known for his comedic roles in Tamil cinema, was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, which was a remake of the Bollywood film, Vicky Donor. He was also part of director Shankar’s upcoming film Indian 2, which stars Kamal Haasan in the lead role.
Tributes pour in
Celebrities took to social media to pay their tribute. Actor Rajinikanth took to Twitter to mourn the loss. “The passing away of Chinnakalaivanar, social worker and my dear close friend Vivekh is very painful,” he said in a statement. “Every day I spent with him during the filming of Sivaji are forgettable days in my life. My condolences to the bereaved family. Let his soul rest in peace.”
Music composer and singer AR Rahman wrote: “Vivekh can’t believe you have left us.... May you rest in peace...you have entertained us for decades...your legacy will stay with us.”
Actor Prakash Raj said: “...vivek...gone too soon dear friend..thank you for planting thoughts and trees...thank you for entertaining and empowering us with your wit and humour..will miss you...RIP.”