Antony admitted to Army Hospital R&R (Second Lead, changing dateline)May 31st, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who suffered a temporary blackout while inspecting the passing out parade at the National Defence Academy (NDA) near Pune, was flown here Saturday evening and admitted to the Army Hospital (Research & Referral) as a precautionary measure, an official said. “The minister walked down unaided from the aircraft and spent a few moments with officials who were at the airport to greet him,” defence ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told IANS.
“We then suggested that he not strain himself anymore. He then got into his car and was driven to the hospital,” Kar added.
At the hospital, Antony underwent a thorough examination by his personal physician, Maj. Gen. Mathew Thomas, who is also the facility’s head.
Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and adviser to the defence minister Sundaram Krishna were among those who greeted Antony when the special Indian Air Force aircraft landed at the military area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here around 6.30 p.m.
At Khadakwasla, the NDA campus near Pune, the cadets of the 114th course were marching past Saturday morning when Antony suddenly slumped into a chair on the saluting dais. He got up but then fell onto the dais. An army officer immediately ran up and carried him to his car parked nearby.
By then, Antony had recovered and insisted on returning to the dais, where NDA commandant Air Marshal T.S. Randhawa had quickly taken the defence minister’s place to ensure there was no interruption in the parade.
Antony ignored repeated pleas of doctors to get into the car and did so only after the last contingent had marched off the parade ground.
He was then taken to the Military Hospital at NDA where doctors conducted two ECGs, as also a blood test and a cholesterol test. The defence minister was advised six to seven hours of rest.
He was subsequently shifted to the Command Hospital in Pune and kept under observation in the cardio-thoracic trauma centre.
“There is no reason for any apprehension. He is completely ok. His hectic schedule, lack of sleep, dehydration and the scorching sun at the passing out parade led him to feel dizzy,” Col. Deepak Bahadur, the physician who treated him at the NDA hospital, told reporters.
“The ECGs and other tests did not show up anything abnormal,” Randhawa said, adding that the minister was being treated in line with his medical history.
“The minister had returned to New Delhi on Friday (after attending the Berlin Air show). He worked in office for an hour and then left for Khadakwasla, arriving late on Friday night,” NDA public relations officer Maj. Pratap Singh, who carried Antony to the car, told IANS.