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  •   Still Ill, Yeltsin Is Bedridden

    By John Iams
    Associated Press
    Wednesday, March 18, 1998; Page A18

    MOSCOW, March 17—Doctors ordered Boris Yeltsin to stay home today until he recovers from a bad cold and sore throat, forcing the president to cancel all his meetings for the week -- including a summit of leaders of former Soviet republics.

    "As usual, he was very eager to attend the meeting, but he has a severe cold, a bad cough and there's a danger of complications," Valentin Yumashev, the president's chief of staff, was quoted as saying by the Russian Tass news agency.

    There have been no photos or videotapes released since the president became ill last week. Evening television news broadcasts showed Yeltsin and Yumashev talking, but an editor at the NTV television station said it was file footage.

    Yeltsin, 67, has suffered a string of health problems in recent years, raising repeated questions about his ability to govern effectively. He had heart bypass surgery in November 1996, and two months later came down with pneumonia.

    His doctors described his latest ailment as acute laryngotracheitis, an inflammation of the larynx and trachea.

    Yeltsin remained "partially bedridden" at his country residence west of Moscow and was undergoing a course of antibiotics, the Kremlin press service said.

    Doctors told Yeltsin to have plenty of warm drinks, take cough medicines and drugs to help his breathing and prevent problems with his bronchial tubes or lungs, the Kremlin said. They also urged Yeltsin to speak as little as possible to avoid further strain on his vocal cords.

    Thursday's Moscow summit was to include most or all of the 12 presidents in the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose grouping of the former Soviet republics. It probably will be held April 23-24, commonwealth secretary Ivan Korotchenya told the Interfax news agency.

    © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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