PM making great progress, wants to resume work (Roundup)January 25th, 2009 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is making progress better than expected and is itching to get back to work, doctors attending on him said Sunday, a day after he underwent a bypass heart surgery. “His progress is better than we expected it to be and hope it continues at the same pace,” Sampath Kumar, who heads the 11-member team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told reporters here.
“We are hoping to move him off the intensive monitoring soon and he will be mobilized from the bed tomorrow,” he added. Manmohan Singh, 76, was Sunday taken off the ventilator and he spoke to his family for the first time after Saturday’s surgery.
He also drank coconut water and fruit juice but desired that he did not want to meet anyone outside of the family. He is being administered physiotherapy.
Doctors said the prime minister, who underwent a 11-hour multiple bypass surgery a day earlier, has expressed his desire to resume work as early as possible. Doctors had earlier said he would have to rest for four to six weeks.
“The prime minister expressed his wish to start work at the earliest when we met him in the morning,” said Kumar.
“He is speaking normally, his ECG is normal and he is fully conscious. He is constantly expressing his desire to resume work,” added head surgeon Ramakant Panda.
Asked when could he get back to work, Panda said: “The prime minister decides that. We hope to discharge him at the earliest.”
Kumar said: “At least for the next three to four days he will be warded in ICU. He is presently on liquid diet. By evening it will be semi-solid and by tomorrow morning may be solid. His (later) treatment will continue at home.”
Kumar said the prime minister was impressed by the treatment he had got at the AIIMS, one of the most popular hospitals in the capital.
He quoted Manmohan Singh as saying: “I chose AIIMS because I have confidence in your abilities. I encourage the public to have confidence in AIIMS. I hope the ordinary man will receive the same quality of care that they have given me.”
World leaders sent “get well soon” messages and bouquets, officials said. Among these were greetings from Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The prime minister’s youngest daughter, Amrit Singh, has arrived from the US. “All his three daughters are here now,” an official said.
Doctors said Manmohan Singh, a diabetic, was now in post-operative care.
He had undergone a bypass surgery in 1990 in Britain and an angioplasty in 2004.
Said Panda: “The prime minister should be able to resume some official duties in two weeks, most in four weeks and be fully active and functional in six weeks or even before.”
Manmohan Singh, who became prime minister in 2004, was discharged from the AIIMS Thursday following an angiography Wednesday. He was re-admitted Friday after he felt uneasy at his residence in the morning.
The doctors have said that they expected the prime minister to recover quickly because he led a disciplined life. Manmohan Singh keeps himself fit doing yoga, is conscious of his diet and packs a punishing 18-hour work schedule.
This will also be the first time that a prime minister will skip the Jan 26 Republic Day celebrations. Defence Minister A.K. Antony will stand in for Manmohan Singh for the ceremonies.