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Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia maybe heading to London for Covid treatment

BNP chief Khaleda Zia

Former Bangladesh Prime Minister maybe heading to London for treatment against Covid-19 in deference to the wishes of her family and the advice of a  10-member medical team, which has been set up by the government.

Zia, the chairperson  of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who tested positive for Covid 19 has also sought permission from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for treatment abroad. The medical team after reviewing the health condition will also decide on whether or not Zia needs treatment abroad.

According to a report by Bangla Tribune, the sister publication of Dhaka Tribune, an application to this effect was filed in mid-April by Zia’s family.

At present Zia is in a local hospital undergoing treatment for Covid 19. She tested positive on April 10.

Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, Zia's personal physician told Dhaka Tribune that while the former prime minister’s health condition is stable at present, it could deteriorate any time.

He added: "Considering his physical condition, we agree that she should be taken abroad for advanced treatment at this time. Since her family is in London, she can get treatment there."

Family sources said preparations are underway to take her to London for better treatment.

After experiencing shortness of breath since Monday morning, the 75 year old former Prime Minister was shifted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) on Monday. Zia will undergo more tests to determine the cause of breathlessness.

In March, the Sheikh Hasina government approved the proposal of suspending Zia's prison sentences in two graft cases for six more months amid the outbreak of the pandemic.

In 2018, Zia was sentenced to another seven years in prison on corruption charges by a Bangladesh court. Earlier she was slapped a five year term on embezzlement charges.

A report by the Observer Research Foundation even noted that during Zia’s premiership, Bangladesh and Pakistan had joined hands to subvert India’s interests. “Apart from providing support to Indian insurgent groups in the Northeast, several Islamic extremist groups came into prominence, with the support of the Tarique clique and Pakistan. Tarique wanted to use these extremists to target the Awami League leadership and workers, while Pakistan wanted to use them against India.”