Jyoti Basu slightly better | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 11, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 11, 2010

Jyoti Basu slightly better

Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu's health condition was marginally better Sunday though he was still critical and on partial ventilator support. The 95-year-old leader was responding to calls, doctors attending on him said.
The medical bulletin issued a little after noon Sunday said Basu's general condition was 'marginally better compared to yesterday, but still critical' and he continued to be on partial ventilator support.
On Saturday, the doctors had said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) veteran's health was deteriorating and he had slipped into a state of drowsiness with the infection affecting his internal organs. He was admitted Jan 1 to the AMRI hospital for pneumonia and shifted to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) the following day.
The former West Bengal chief minister was put on ventilator Jan 6 after acute respiratory problems.
An eight-member medical committee overseeing his treatment said Basu's central nervous system was better than Saturday and he was 'responding to calls'. His cardiovascular function was 'more or less stable', with the blood pressure being maintained with stabilising medicines.
Basu's urine output has picked up under medication. There was no necessity of dialysis 'at this moment', the bulletin said.
Among the leaders to visit him Sunday were Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and state CPI-M secretary Biman Bose.
Local leaders and supporters of the party were crowding the roads and pavements around the hospital for an update on his health.
Describing Basu as the country's greatest leader, Mulayam Singh said it was unfortunate the CPI-M did not allow him to become the prime minister in 1996 at the head of a United Front government. "Had he become prime minister, the prestige of the chair would have increased," he said.
A concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the hospital Thursday and has been monitoring the health condition of the veteran leader.
Following an offer from the prime minister to arrange for specialists, the medical board held a tele-conference with AIIMS experts Friday.
Basu holds the record for the longest 23-year-old stint as chief minister from June 1977 to November 2000. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds.

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