Jyoti Basu still critical, but infection level slightly down

KOLKATA, 13th January, 2010: Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu, who has been hospitalised with pneumonia, is still critical though the bacterial infection in the 95-year-old leader's body was marginally down, the doctors said Wednesday.

The former West Bengal chief minister, who is in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) on ventilation support, would be given a unit of blood during the day, the AMRI hospital said in a medical bulletin.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist leader was given a unit of blood Tuesday to improve his haemoglobin count which had come down. "He is still critical and still on ventilation. But the infection count has marginally come down. Urine output is also stable," the bulletin said. Microbiological tests had earlier revealed the existence of several bacteria in his lungs.

Basu was admitted to the Salt Lake hospital near his residence Indira Bhavan Jan 1. He was shifted to the ICCU the next day and put on ventilator support Jan 6 following acute respiratory problems. Basu underwent a brain scan Tuesday that showed no change in an old clot he had developed after a fall in his bathroom in 2008. CPI(M) Kerala state secretary Pinarai Vijayan, Party polit bureau member and Kerala home minister Kodiyedi Balakrishanan Wednesday visited ailing Marxist patriarch at hospital and wished him speedy recovery.

Born 1914 in Kolkata, Basu became West Bengal chief minister in June 1977. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds in November 2000.

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