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ARGENTINA | 14-06-2020 12:15

Ex-president Carlos Menem admitted to intensive care with pneumonia

Menem hospitalised with severe pneumonia. Former head of state tested for coronavirus, but results came back negative.

Former president Carlos Menem is in an intensive care unit of a private hospital in Buenos Aires, after having been hospitalised with severe pneumonia late Saturday night.

The ex-head of state was tested for the novel coronavirus, but results came back negative, according to family sources quoted in local outlets.

Menem, who turns 90 on July 2 and remains political active, serving as a senator representing La Rioja Province.

The former president was taken to the private Instituto Argentino del Diagnóstico y Tratamiento, located at Marcelo T. de Alvear 2346, in the Recoleta neighbourhood of the capital. He was submitted with reports of "muscular weakness and shortness of breath," the clinic said.

Doctors quickly identified his condition as pneumonia, though they ordered a rapid Covid-19 test to ensure he hadn't been infected with the virus.

"He is fine and in good spirits," an unnamed close friend of the family said in comments reported by local outlets.

Sources said the former president had severe pneumonia in his right lung, but that his admission to intensive care was "a precaution." His breathing is being helped by an artificial respirator.

Menem ruled Argentina between 1989 and 1999, winning two elections. He embarked upon a state reform package which included, among other projects, the privatisation of more than 60 public companies. 

Days ago one of his sons, Carlos Nair, was hospitalised after a persistent cough and fever. Tests also showed he had not been infected by Covid-19 and doctors eventually concluded he also had pneumonia.

He had a cough and fever, symptoms compatible with Covid-19, and a preventive test was performed: the result was negative.

– TIMES/AFP

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