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Singapore statesman Lee Kuan Yew hospitalised

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

Singapore's founder and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew has been hospitalised for severe pneumonia though his condition has now stabilised, the government said today.

Lee, 91, was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on February 5 for severe pneumonia.

"His condition has stabilised and he remains on mechanical ventilation in the ICU. He is conscious and lightly sedated," the Prime Minister's Office said, Channel Asia reported.

Mechanical ventilation is the use of a ventilator to support patients in breathing.

"His doctors are continuing to monitor his condition. PMO will keep the public informed of any change," it added.

During Chinese New Year in 2014, Lee was hospitalised for an infection, fever and cough while in 2013, he was admitted to hospital for a suspected transient ischaemic attack, an episode where irregular heartbeat leads to a brief stoppage of blood flow to the brain.

Lee's son, current Singapore premier Lee Hsien Loong, said he visited his father this morning to wish him Happy New Year and a smooth recovery, as he did not see him on the first day of the Chinese New Year on doctors' advice.

"This was the first year in a long while that we could not attend the Lee family reunion dinner," he wrote on Facebook.

Lee is considered the founding father of Singapore and is credited with transforming the city-state into an economic powerhouse within just three decades. He quit as prime minister in 1990 after 31 years in office.

First Published: Sat, February 21 2015. 18:45 IST