Hospitalised Khaleda’s condition ‘hasn’t improved’, says Mirza Fakhrul

The condition of Khaleda Zia has ‘not improved’ and doctors have recommended three countries to take the BNP chief to for better treatment, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam has said.

Khaleda’s family had recently applied for permission to take her abroad for advanced medical care as she is undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in Dhaka, but the government has said she must return to jail first to serve sentences in two corruption cases.

The 76-year-old former prime minister was convicted and taken to jail three years ago. In April 2020, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government granted a request from her family for a conditional temporary release from jail on “humanitarian grounds”.

She has since stayed at her Gulshan home under the care of her personal doctors and has had limited interaction with others.

She suffers from arthritis, diabetes and complications involving kidneys and lungs. She had been hospitalised with COVID-19 as well.

“Madam [Khaleda] is seriously ill. I had said earlier that she was caught between life and death. This is the appropriate thing to say because she is still in critical condition. We can’t say that she is out of danger,” Fakhrul said at a press conference.    

A board of doctors meet at the hospital every day for her treatment, but so far there has “not been further improvement” in her condition, according to him.

“I’ve met her twice. She said she has sufficient mental strength for a patient to recover, but the doctors insist that she be taken abroad on an emergency basis for advanced medical treatment. They have specifically recommended the US, the UK or Germany.”

The leaders of the BNP and its allies have recently met government ministers in a bid to persuade them to allow Khaleda to travel abroad. 

Fakhrul said the party does not currently has a plan to meet President Md Abdul Hamid or Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the permission. 

“It is very much necessary to send her abroad without delay. We’ve requested the government to prioritise her life, not political thoughts.”