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KHALEDA’S FAMILY SEEKS PERMISSION TO SEND HER ABROAD FOR TREATMENT

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The family of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia, undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital, filed an application to home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Wednesday night seeking permission to send her abroad for advanced treatment, reports news agency UNB.

Khaleda’s younger brother Shamim Iskander met the minister at his Dhanmondi residence at around 8:30pm and submitted the application to him, Sharif Mahmud, public relations officer of the home ministry told the news agency.

Quoting the minister, he said the application will be sent to the law ministry for assessing the legal aspects. The ministry sources, however, told Prothom Alo that the letter has been sent to the law ministry immediately.

The 76-year-old BNP chief, who tested positive for Covid-19 in second test on 24 April, was admitted to Evercare Hospital on 27 April for a thorough health checkup.

She was shifted to the CCU of the hospital with breath complications around 4:00pm on Monday. Her breathing problem later eased.

On the following day, a 10-member medical board, headed by professor Shahabuddin Talukder, was formed for the treatment of three-time prime minister at the Evercare Hospital a day after her admission there.

A personal physician of the BNP chief, wishing anonymity, said Khaleda’s condition did not improve much though she has been kept at the CCU.

He said fluids were removed from her lungs while her oxygen saturation level has been fluctuating without oxygen support.

The physician also said the BNP chief’s blood sugar is also not under control.

Under the circumstances, he said, the 10-member medical board recommended sending Khaleda aboard for advanced treatment after assessing all of the reports of her medical tests on Wednesday evening. Following this, her family members decided to send an application to the home minister for sending her aboard.

Meanwhile, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir went to the Evercare Hospital in the evening and enquired about Khaleda’s health condition from her physicians.

Khaleda Zia tested positive for Covid-19 on 10 April as eight people at her residence were infected with the virus. She underwent the second Covid-19 test on 24 April and her report was positive.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on 25 March last year.

She was released from the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) the same day. The leader of de facto opposition has been staying at her Gulshan house since then.

On 27 August last year, the government extended her release for six more months and it was extended again for another six months on 15 March this year.

Earlier, on 8 February 2018, Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The High Court later doubled her jail term.

Khaleda was found guilty in another corruption case the same year. Her party claims both the cases are politically motivated.