Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s health has sharply deteriorated, days after he was sentenced to life in prison, and specialists were evaluating whether to transfer him to a better-equipped hospital outside the penal system, security officials said.
The deposed leader’s health scare on Wednesday added to the uncertainty engulfing Egypt, where powerful political groups are seeking to bar Mubarak’s former prime minister from the presidential runoff and derail the election.
Officials at Cairo’s Torah prison said the 84-year-old Mubarak’s condition had moved to a “dangerous” phase and that doctors administered oxygen five times to help him breathe. He was also suffering from shock, high blood pressure and severe depression, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Mubarak was being treated in the prison hospital’s intensive care unit, which recently underwent a US$1 million renovation to prepare for his arrival, the officials said. He was the only patient in the five-bed intensive care unit.
It was not immediately possible to verify the gravity of Mubarak’s condition, but his health has been an issue in recent years.
Mubarak did not want to go to Torah prison after he was sentenced on Saturday, pleading with his escort to take him back to the military hospital east of Cairo where he had stayed in a suite since his trial began in August.