President Zeman's wife asks for patience, says his treatment and recovery will 'take time'

Ivana Zemanová appeared before the media at Prague Castle today to ask for patience and for time to allow Zeman to regain his strength.


Written by ČTK Published on 14.10.2021 18:06:00 (updated on 14.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech President Miloš Zeman is undergoing medical treatment that will take time, his wife Ivana Zemanová told a press briefing today, asking the media for patience and to allow the president time to regain his strength.

Speaking to journalists with daughter Katerina by her side, Zemanová called recent speculations about Zeman's health condition unethical.

Journalists were not allowed to ask questions at the press briefing.

Zeman, 77, has been in the Clinic of Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine of the Central Military Hospital (UVN) in Prague for five days without the Presidential Office (KPR) providing thorough information to the public.

The KPR faces criticism for its failure to keep the public adequately informed about the president's condition.

Citing this lack of communication Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil (Civic Democrats, ODS) said earlier this week that he had turned to KPR head Vratislav Mynář for further details on Zeman's prognosis.

Some politicians have suggested that parliament considers stripping the president of his powers over his inability to execute the post. Lawyers, nevertheless, say such a step would be premature now, a mere few days after Zeman's October 10 admission to hospital.

Ivana Zemanova gave a press briefing at Prague Castle today.
Ivana Zemanová gave a press briefing at Prague Castle today.

"I can only confirm that he is undergoing treatment that will require time. I consider speculations about diagnoses and prognoses very unethical at least," Zemanová said, referring to her husband's condition.

She said the health of anyone is a sensitive and serious issue. "Most of all, I wish my husband to recover," she said.

Zemanová asked the media for patience and to allow for the time necessary for Zeman to be able to regain strength.

"He is not the only president to fall ill while in office, and therefore I beg your tolerance once again," she said, adding that she would inform the public when further developments are available.

She asked all who support Zeman to think of him.

Zemanová, 56, appeared before some 40 journalists along with her daughter Katerina, 27, both wearing subdued clothing. The First Lady read her statement, which she prepared in advance, Katerina did not speak.

The press briefing took place at the statue of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first Czechoslovak president from 1918-1935, in the Rothmayer Hall of Prague Castle, which is the seat of the president's office.

Commenting on Zeman's hospitalization for media, his doctor and UVN director Miroslav Zavoral recently said it was due to complications accompanying Zeman's chronic disease, but he did not reveal the diagnosis because he did not have the patient's consent.

UVN spokeswoman Jitka Zinke told ČTK on Monday that Zeman's health condition is stable.

Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Sunday that the president's hospitalization did not jeopardize the negotiations following the October 8-9 general election.

Zeman was in UVN in September, spending eight nights there, and the KPR called it a recondition stay for the president to undergo some checkups and infusions.

A medical report then said Zeman suffered from dehydration and mild exhaustion and said a check-up uncovered no disease or troubles that would threaten Zeman's life.

However, Deník N yesterday reported that the President suffers from hepatic encephalopathy, a condition related to serious liver failure, citing sources in the medical field.

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