BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: The health of fasting Anna Hazare is deteriorating day-by-day with his movement for strong Jan Lokpal Bill entering its seventh day. This has added to the worries of the Manmohan Singh government, which seems to be groping to find a solution to the standoff over the Lokpal Bill.
Doctors said that the Gandhian was in the “danger zone” and may require urgent hospitalization in the next 24 to 48 hours. Hazare, who used to address the gathering at the Ramlila Maidan twice every day until Sunday, did not speak even once on Monday. He spent most of the time lying down while thousands stepped out to reach the maidan in support of his agitation.
Hazare’s weight is down to 67 kg from 72 kg, he has lost five kg in seven days, his blood pressure is 130/80 and pulse rate 90, according to the health bulletin issued by his doctors. The longest he has fasted until now is for 12 days.
Cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan, who is leading the team monitoring Anna Hazare’s health, on Monday said, “His condition is not life-threatening is what I can say.” But there is a rise in ketone levels, the presence of certain acids and acetone in blood and urine, which means the body is breaking down stored fat instead of the usual glucose.
Dr Anoop Misra of Fortis Hospital told TOI, “The patient has already entered the danger zone. He will need medical attention within the next 24-48 hours. The fast may affect the heart, kidney and blood pressure depending on how fast Anna’s ketone level rises.”
While Hazare does not yet require hospitalization, his failing health complicates the Centre’s political risk as any mishap will prove catastrophic for the Manmohan Singh government. But removing the fasting leader for forced-feeding from the Ramlila Maidan or administering drips there is a fraught job, not the least because of the 24×7 media coverage of the protest.
Increased ketone levels are caused by fasting or starvation when the body is deprived of carbohydrates. Persistent high levels after a prolonged hunger strike can harm kidney function. Despite increased water intake, the 74-year-old Gandhian’s health condition is deteriorating and he is very weak. He has discontinued morning yoga and has been advised to speak less.
Sources said if Hazare’s condition was not rectified, he might need to be hospitalized soon to administer insulin intravenously. Hazare has earlier declared that if the government tries to force-feed him or admit him to a hospital against his wishes, he would give up water intake as well.
Doctors have advised him not to venture into the Sun as it could have a negative impact on his health.
“Hazare’s BP is normal. There is some weakness. His eyes are watery. Doctors have advised him not to venture into the Sun as it could have an impact on his health,” Manish Sisodia, a close associate of Hazare, told reporters in the wee hours today.
Yesterday doctors had said Hazare was fine though there were contradicting views especially by Hazare’s two associates on the condition of his kidney. A close aide Kiran Bedi said that his kidney was “infected” while another aide Arvind Kejriwal denied it.
Though doctors have been maintaining that Hazare’s health is fine, his close associates expressed worries over the health condition of the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader. As he became week, Hazare decided not to address people yesterday as he was doing the past few days.
Sisodia had earlier said Hazare had lost over 5 kg since he began his fast on August 13. “Doctors say his health is okay but we are worried,” he said.