Asia - Pacific

Ex-Bangladeshi premier in hospital for breathing issues

Opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia earlier hospitalized after testing positive for virus for 2nd time

Najmus Sakib   | 04.05.2021
Ex-Bangladeshi premier in hospital for breathing issues Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU) of a hospital Monday due to shortness of breath. 

Zia, who is currently chairperson of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), tested positive again for COVID-19 on April 25 following her first confirmed case on April 11.

She was taken to a private hospital in the capital Dhaka on April 27 as she required some medical tests, said party spokespersons. Zia is undergoing treatment at the hospital under two medical teams.

“Our party chief has been shifted to the CCU on Monday as she developed shortness of breath in the morning. Khaleda Zia is now undergoing treatment at the hospital under medical teams formed after she was diagnosed with the coronavirus,” Zia’s press wing officer Shamsuddin Didar told Anadolu Agency.

The BNP chairperson was earlier being treated in a non-COVID hospital bed as she did not develop coronavirus symptoms, and her condition is stable now, he added.

Zia, the widow of assassinated former President Ziaur Rahman, is currently out on bail from prison after the government extended her bail term for the third time in an executive order last year.

The bail was granted on the condition that she received medical treatment at her home in Dhaka and would not be allowed to travel abroad during the period.

Zia, 74, has been serving a 17-year sentence related to dozens of graft charges since February 2018. Her party and lawyers, however, claim these cases are politically motivated.

The government, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, rejects these allegations.

-Lockdown, border suspension period with India extended

Bangladesh on Monday extended an ongoing nationwide lockdown for 11 days from May 5-16 following inter-ministerial meetings.

The extension, however, allows public transport within but not between cities, including Dhaka, Cabinet Secretary Khandaker Anwarul Islam told reporters at a news briefing.

He added that other means of public transport including train services will, however, remain suspended until May 16.

The government also warned that if people and markets failed to observe strict health guidelines, authorities will close down markets.

Bangladesh's border with India will remain closed until further notice amid an ongoing surge in infections in its close neighbor, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told the media in Dhaka.

The South Asian country of more than 166 million people has reported a total of 11,644 deaths, 763,682 infections and 691,162 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry.

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