Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir in hospital with coronavirus
KUALA LUMPUR — Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was in hospital Wednesday after testing positive for coronavirus for the first time.
“Mahathir has only mild symptoms of the Covid infection,” an aide told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A Wednesday statement from the former premier’s office said he “tested positive for Covid-19 this morning”.
Mahathir has been admitted to the National Heart Institute for “observation for the next few days”, it added.
The 97-year-old veteran politician has been actively touring the country in recent weeks to beef up support for his new political party amid speculation that snap polls could be held before the end of the year.
Mahathir was previously admitted in December and January for several days, for a check-up in the cardiac care unit.
He has had numerous heart problems over the years, suffering several heart attacks and undergoing bypass surgery.
Mahathir is one of Malaysia’s dominant political figures, having served twice as prime minister for a total of 24 years.
He was leader from 1981 to 2003, then returned to power in 2018 at the age of 92, heading a reformist coalition.
But that administration collapsed in 2020 due to infighting.
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