The condition of Algerian President Houari Boumedienne is said to have stabilised. Although no official?
GV PAN general view over Algiers from harbour ZOOM IN TO hospital building surrounded by palm trees
LV and SV hospital gates with security men manning barriers (THREE SHOTS)
CU ZOOM OUT FROM policeman manning traffic in streets PAN TO pedestrians (TWO SHOTS)
SV and CU people in park reading arabic newspaper (FOUR SHOTS)
LV policeman and police car in square
GV exterior of hospital
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The condition of Algerian President Houari Boumedienne is said to have stabilised. Although no official announcement has been made, it has been reported that doctors treating the 51-year-old President have located a brain clot. This is believed to be the cause of his week-long coma. Reports also say that although no surgery has been undertaken, the President's health has not deteriorated.
SYNOPSIS: President Boumedienne has been under medical treatment since he returned home from Moscow ten days ago, reportedly suffering from a severe kidney complaint. His condition worsened last Friday (17 November) when he went into a coma and was taken to Mustafa hospital in Algiers. Since then he has been under constant medical scrutiny. At his bedside are doctors from the United States, the Soviet Union and France. And Cuba is said to have sent a 20-strong team to help in the treatment.
Security at the hospital is tight. And there have been few official statements on the President's current state. the latest position, according to Reuters News Agency, quoting informed sources, is that President Boumedienne's condition has stabilised. The same sources say doctors have located a brain clot and that major brain surgery could be the only way to end the coma. But such an operation has not taken place yet, because of the high risks involved.
The people of Algeria have received little news of their leader's condition. With strong press restrictions at the hospital, few details have emerged. And leading newspapers have resorted to printing get-well message from, among others, President Castro of Cuba, Libya's Colonel Gaddafi and Palestine Liberation Organisation chief, Yasser Arafat. With the President seriously ill, some attention is also being focused on the question of his possible successor. There appear to be no the question of his possible successor. The appear to be no obvious candidates. President Boumedienne has repeatedly refused to appoint a Vice-President or Prime Minister. If he does die, the Chairman of the National People's assembly, Mr. Rabah Bitat, automatically becomes Head of State, for 45 days until a new Presidential election.