India’s Ex-Prime Minister in ICU

February 9, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

In this file photo Atal Behari Vajpayee chats with US President Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington DC in September 2000. (Mark Wilson/Newsmakers)
In this file photo Atal Behari Vajpayee chats with US President Bill Clinton at the White House in Washington DC in September 2000. (Mark Wilson/Newsmakers)
Bangalore, India—The health of India’s former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has been on a ventilator at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS,) New Delhi, since Friday last, is improving, say hospital sources.

"He is stable and responding to the treatment. He is showing signs of improvement," An AIIMS official said in a statement.

Vajpayee, 84, was admitted to AIIMS on Tuesday with chest congestion, which doctors later diagnosed as pneumonia. As his condition worsened, he was put in an ICU on a ventilaroty support on Friday.

Hospital sources said the pneumonia is under control now. “Gradually his oxygenation level has shown improvement and there is no spread of pneumonia," it added.

Vajpayee, who belongs to the Hindu nationalist party BJP, was the prime minister between March 1998 and May 2004 as well as for just two weeks in May 1996.

Some mourn his ‘death’.

Meanwhile, a farmer group in the southern city of Mysore mourned Vajpayee’s ‘death’ on Saturday. An apparent communication gap between the Mysore deputy commissioner (DC) and the group leader is said to be the reason behind the embarrassing condolence.

The group had gathered to attend a meeting at DC’s office. The DC who was to conduct the meeting did not turn up at the venue. Instead, he summoned the group leader and allegedly told him that he had cancelled the meeting due to the death of the former prime minister. Subsequently, the group members prayed for the ‘departed’ soul by observing silence for a minute.