Brasilia: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva suffered an attack of high blood pressure just
before he was to leave for Switzerland and was hospitalised
overnight, officials said. He was released early on Thursday.
Silva, 64, was in the presidential plane in the
northeastern city of Recife preparing to head to the World
Economic Forum in Davos when he fell ill late yesterday and
was taken to a hospital, his personal physician said.
The trip to Davos was cancelled. It was the first time
Silva had been hospitalised since he became president in 2003.
"It was caused by a series of factors... stress and
fatigue," said Silva`s doctor Cleber Ferreira. "It was a
sporadic episode. The president does not have hypertension and
his blood pressure is absolutely normal, it always has been."
Ferreira went on to say that "for a person of his age,
his blood pressure is enviable -- 110 over 80".
The doctor also told reporters Silva resisted going to
the hospital and wanted to continue his 10-hour trip to
Switzerland, but he convinced the president he needed to rest.
Silva attended the World Social Forum on Tuesday in
Porto Alegre in southern Brazil and had a heavy day of work in
Recife yesterday. Ferreira said the heat of Brazil`s summer
and the fact the president recently had a light case of the
flu contributed to his exhaustion.