Wed, 22 Nov 2000

President's flu worsened by heavy schedule: Wimar

JAKARTA (JP): President Abdurrahman Wahid was treated for influenza on Tuesday and his spokesman said that the President's heavy schedule has made his symptoms worse.

"Actually the signs (of flu) were evident even before he left for Qatar on Nov. 12 and his heavy schedule made his flu worse," Presidential spokesman Wimar Witoelar told The Jakarta Post in a telephone interview.

Wimar was referring to Abdurrahman's overseas trip to Qatar and Brunei to attend the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit respectively.

"So, his doctors have advised him to slow down because we want to be sure he will be well enough to attend ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) informal summit in Singapore on Nov. 23," Wimar said, adding that "the President has been receiving guests selectively".

Abdurrahman is scheduled to leave Jakarta for the summit on Thursday and Wimar said Tuesday that "as of now there has been no change in the plan".

He said Abdurrahman underwent a series of tests on Tuesday including "a chest x-ray using portable equipment which was borrowed from the Gatot Subroto army hospital".

"He is coughing slightly but apart from that he is fine," Wimar said.

Earlier in the day, chief of the presidential medical team Umar Wahid admitted that Abdurrahman's condition had not improved "as had been expected".

"Yesterday (Monday), his condition was not getting better so he (Abdurrahman) has been advised to rest," Umar, who is also Abdurrahman's younger brother, told journalists at the presidential palace. (byg)