LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder and leader Altaf Hussain is in the Barnet Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) after contracting COVID-19 around three weeks ago.
The News visited the hospital on Monday and the hospital staff confirmed that the MQM leader is in the COVID ward of the hospital under intensive care and no visitor, friend or family is allowed to meet him – as is the rule for all COVID-19 patients.
On Sunday night, an audio message of the MQM leader was distributed in which the former Karachi strongman appealed, in a shaken voice, to his followers to pray for him after announcing that he was in the ICU.
“I have been in the ICU in hospital for the last 20 days. It is due to your (supporters’) prayers that I have been able to record this message on this day of Saturday, Jan 30, 2021,” the MQM leader said.
Altaf Hussain added: “May Allah protect everyone from this disease, COVID-19,” he said, and appealed to listeners to “take precautions and help each other”.
A source in the MQM said that around three weeks ago the MQM leader fell ill. Altaf Hussain, who has a long history of several ailments due to obesity and unhealthy lifestyle, was advised to self-isolate at home but then his condition deteriorated and he was taken to the hospital in emergency. He was put on the ventilator for about five days and then he started recovering.
On January 23, the MQM-London said in a statement that the MQM founder leader is ill and taking a break from politics. The MQM statement had said that after check-up, doctor advised him to rest and suspend his political activities.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mustafa Azizabadi said that Altaf Hussain was recovering fast and his situation had progressed well. He said that Altaf Hussain had thanked his supporters for praying for him.