The condition of Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu, on partial ventilator support in a hospital in Kolkata with pneumonia, did not show any significant improvement Friday as the attending doctors held a video conference with specialists at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered to arrange for expert doctors for Basu's treatment, the medical board constituted by the AMRI Hospital for treating the critically ill 95-year-old leader opted for a video conference with AIIMS specialists.
"There is no significant improvement in Basu's condition," said the hospital medical bulletin in the afternoon and the evening. "Last (Thursday) night, there was an episode of irregularity of heartbeat. This was treated adequately," said the day's first bulletin, issued around 12.45 pm.
The AMRI doctors "conveyed in detail Basu's condition, including his past medical history, findings, investigation done and treatment provided to him to so far" to the specialists in AIIMS during the video conference.
"The doctors of the two hospitals agreed that the main hindrance to Basu's fast recovery was his advanced age," the bulletin said.
"The special board of AIIMS conveyed its complete satisfaction with the mode of treatment and wished him speedy recovery," the bulletin added.
A steady stream of visitors continued to pour into the hospital to see the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and former West Bengal chief minister, who was admitted to the Salt Lake hospital Jan 1 following chest congestion and infection and shifted to the ICCU Jan 2.
Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, who called on Basu Friday morning, said the 95-year-old leader greeted him by lifting his hand partially. "A doctor tried to wake him up. He lifted his hand up to a point. He did not open his eyes," Deve Gowda said.
"That shows his brain function is very good. Of course, he is on ventilator, but as things stand his condition is a little improved," he added.
Earlier, AMRI medical superintendent Debasish Sharma told IANS that the veteran communist was "slightly better".
He was being fed liquid food.
The medical board put Basu on ventilator support due to acute respiratory problems early Jan 6.
Basu holds the record for the longest 23-year stint as chief minister from June 1977 until November 2000. He stepped down voluntarily on health grounds.