B’desh leader faints, taken to hospital

Dhaka, June 3:

The head of Bangladesh’s emergency government was admitted to a military hospital in the capital Dhaka today after he fainted following an hour-long speech in hot weather, an official said.

Sixty-seven-year-old Fakhruddin Ahmed collapsed after he sought a glass of water while speaking at a function to mark the start of the tree plantation season in the northern town of Tangail, a spokesman said.

He was initially taken to the local hospital and then transferred to the capital.

“He has been flown to Dhaka and was taken to the Combined Military Hospital for a check-up. He is expected to be released after 5:00 pm,” government spokesman Syed Fahim Munaim told AFP.

“His condition is stable. The blood pressure is OK,” he added.

Temperatures in Bangladesh have reached 41 degrees Celsius during a week-long heatwave, which is likely to continue until monsoon rains expected in the next few days bring relief, weather office spokesman Shahjahan Alam told AFP yesterday.

At least 12 people have died of heatstroke in the past week.

Ahmed, a former central bank governor, took over as the head of Bangladesh’s interim government after the country’s president declared a state of emergency and cancelled elections in January.