Jyoti Basu still critical, but 'positive changes' in health

KOLKATA, 6th January, 2010: Nonagenarian CPI(M) patriach, Former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, hospitalised after an attack of pneumonia, was still critical but doctors attending him on Wednesday evening said his condition has slightly improved.

The 95-year-old communist veteran has been put on ventilator since Wednesday morning. "Basu is still critical. The medical board is constantly monitoring his condition. We have observed some positive changes in his health condition since morning," said a medical bulletin from the AMRI Hospital.

Basu had breathing trouble since morning. Talking about the positive changes in his condition, a doctor said: "There has been some urine output. The blood pressure is to some extent under control." A team of doctors monitoring the health of the veteran communist will again meet at 1100 hrs IST on Thursday to review his condition, the medical bulletin said.

Basu was hospitalised last week after a pneumonia attack and was admitted to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit of the hospital in Salt Lake, the Kolkata suburb where he lives. Basu was chief minister of West Bengal from June 1977 until November 2000, heading a Left Front government led by his Communist Party of India-Marxist. He stepped down on health grounds.

Today evening CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu, party politburo member and West Bengal commerce and industry minister Nirupam Sen visited Basu at the hospital.

CPI general secretary A B Bardhan, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat and CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury, will leave for Kolkata from Delhi Thursday morning in view of deteriorating health of Jyoti Basu. CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, has already reach Kolkata.

Earlier, former Loksabha Speaker Somanath Chatterjee, TMC leader Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, visited AMRI to enquire about Jyoti Basu’s health.

On Wednesday, death rumors flooded Twitter and other websites. Leaders' appealed to the people not to spread the rumors. Jyoti Basu's health condition was wrongly reported dead by several media outlets also. The reports of Jyoti Basu’s death has spread like a viral on the internet and has disheartened many people. Though several websites had earlier declared the report of Jyoti Basu’s death and said that the medical team would confirm his death in the evening, the latest update states that the veteran politician is alive.

As per the last updates issued in the evening, Jyoti Basu has shown signs of recovery and so there is no reason to worry about his health. His heart and brain is still reported to be in a strong state. According to the medical reports, the politician has shown some positive changes in his health, even though his condition still remains critical. The next update of his health will be declared tomorrow morning and people expect that his health condition would improve further by then.

CPI(M) leaders Mridul De, Dipak Dasgupta, Amitava Basu, Amitava Nandi and Rabin Deb visited the hospital. So did Congress leader and former Kolkata mayor Subrata Mukherjee and Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra. "We heard his (Basu) lung condition is poor. But his heart and kidney are functioning well," Mukherjee said.

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