Moscow, 10 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Kremlin doctor says Russian President Boris Yeltsin will spend at least another three days in the hospital and then will need a three-week rehabilitation period.
Sergei Mironov said today a breakthrough has not yet been reached, but Yeltsin's breathing difficulties have eased. Mironov also said that Yeltsin will be able to hold working visits starting next week, but for now he is limited to telephone conversations.
Mironov said the three-week rehabilitation period does not mean "isolation at a residence." He said doctors do not expect Yeltsin to return to the Kremlin before the end of the rehabilitation period. Asked whether Yeltsin would be able to travel abroad, Mironov answered, "Yes, but dates could be changed."
Mironov revealed that Yeltsin should have been hospitalized several days earlier, but had refused to do so. Mironov said Yeltsin had been diagnosed with bronchitis on Sunday and was frequently out of breath. But Yeltsin continued working until Monday when the Kremlin announced he had a bout of flu and would be resting for a few days.
Mironov said X-rays on Monday showed Yeltsin had the first signs of pneumonia but the president refused being hospitalized for two more days.
Meanwhile, a Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit, scheduled for Moscow January 17, which Yeltsin was due to attend, has been postponed. A statement did not mention Yeltsin's health as reason for putting it off until January 30-31.
Yeltsin was admitted to hospital on Wednesday with signs of pneumonia, only two weeks after he returned to work in the Kremlin following a November heart surgery.
Yesterday, White House spokesman Michael Mccurry said U.S. President Bill Clinton sent a "get-well" note to Yeltsin.
Mccurry said today the note was sent overnight and expressed the wishes of the president and Mrs. Clinton for Yeltsin's speedy recovery.