London, Feb 15 (IANS) Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is “very sick” and has fainted on at least one occasion at the Red Sea holiday villa in Sharm el-Sheikh where he was sent into internal exile, media reports say.
Locals in the resort city said they were told by Mubarak’s guards that he was bedridden and needed help in walking.
“Mubarak is very sick – they say he has cancer,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Ahmed, a teacher, as saying.
Mubarak is staying at a villa in the grounds of the Maritim Jollie Ville Hotel, owned by one of Egypt’s leading businessmen, Hussein Salem, who is a close member of the former president’s inner circle.
Ambulances and doctors were seen in the private driveway of the hotel and security guards said he was unwell.
“He has been feeling very unwell… he is a very, very sick man,” another security guard told the media.
Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian ambassador to US, said that Mubarak was “possibly in somewhat bad health”.
“I am following the rumours and press reports related to his health, and might have received some communication at a personal level indicating that he is possibly in somewhat of bad health,” he said.
But Shoukry stressed that, “I really don’t have sufficient information so I wouldn’t like to speculate”.
Two Egyptian newspapers said that the former president was depressed, refusing to take medication and was repeatedly passing out.
The 82-year-old former head of state is in a “severe psychological condition and is declining treatment despite his illness” but he is not in a coma, the pro-government Al-Gomhuria daily reported, citing sources close to Mubarak.
Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm earlier reported that Mubarak was gravely ill and had slipped into a coma after mass protests forced him out of power.
He stepped down Friday and handed over power to the country’s military after 18 days of widespread anti-government protests.