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Czech Republic: Havel Hospitalized With Bronchitis

Prague, 12 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Czech President Vaclav Havel, who earlier today cut short a visit to the Middle East, has entered a military hospital in Prague to be treated for severe bronchitis. Czech state radio reports Havel was flown home on a Kuwaiti plane after curtailing his visit to the Gulf states. He was taken from the airport to the hospital in an ambulance.

The president's spokesman, Ladislav Spacek, said a sudden deterioration of Havel's bronchitis was the reason behind the emergency.

His personal doctor, Ilja Kotik, said Havel was given antibiotics after his temperature shot up to 38 degrees overnight.

Havel arrived in Kuwait on what had been planned as a three-day visit yesterday. He flew in from Saudi Arabia and was expected tomorrow to travel from Kuwait to the United Arab Emirates. Havel, who underwent two major surgeries over the past five years, has frequently suffered from poor health.