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Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar spent last night at the St Clair Medical Centre as a "precaution" after she complained of feeling "unwell" earlier in the morning.
Persad-Bissessar entered the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) in Port of Spain yesterday around 8.30 a.m. to deliver the feature address at a conference and exhibition on Health, Safety, Security and Environment held by the American Chamber of Industry and Commerce holding on to the arm of her Security Advisor Gary Griffith.
She was limping and not exerting pressure on her right ankle.
During the 20 minutes of her speech the Prime Minister paused several times to cough, sip water and wipe her nose. Persad-Bissessar dismissed the small breaks in her speech as "human moments".
Speaking with reporters after cutting the ribbon to open the exhibition, Persad-Bissessar said she did not know why her ankles were swollen and she even joked that it may have something to do with "age".
"I don't know, they are just both swollen, it happens. I think it's a bit of age, it comes with that, but everything is clear with my brain," she said.
Soon after leaving the hotel, however, reports surfaced that she was taken to the private hospital.
Lisa Ghany, the Prime Minister's Advisor on Public Engagements, spoke with reporters outside the Medical Centre just after 12.15 p.m. saying she did not know when Persad-Bissessar would be discharged.
She said the Prime Minister's swollen ankles were one of the medical concerns.
"She did say she was experiencing some discomfort with the swelling of her ankles," Ghany confirmed, adding that standing to deliver the speech may have aggravated the situation and they "felt it best" to take her to the hospital.
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who was among the ministers who visited Persad-Bissessar , said she was resting comfortably.
"The Prime Minister got up feeling unwell and she was advised to come in for an evaluation," Gopeesingh said yesterday.
"It was a matter of safety and precaution, but subsequent (medical) management is dependant on the physicians," he said.
"She was reaching for something on her shelves and two cans fell on her feet about a week ago. Its slightly swollen so that is being evaluated there are no fractures to that."
Gopeesingh said Persad-Bissessar may be kept for 24 hours for a "full assessment".
Dr Jose Burgos, a cardiac specialist, is the Prime Minister's personal physician.
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma and Persad-Bissessar's sister Vidwatie Newton were also seen leaving the hospital.
Just after 4 p.m. yesterday, Khan confirmed that Persad-Bissessar would remain at the facility overnight.
At 6.45 p.m Ghany dispatched the second of two releases. The first one at 12.05 p.m. stated that the Prime Minister was undergoing "medical assessment, examinations and evaluation" and another at 6.45 p.m. stated that Persad-Bissessar was under the "supervision of her medical team".
"The results of today's (yesterday's) examination and assessments have not yet been received, however, the Prime Minister will overnight at the nursing home for observation and rest", the release added.
"The Prime Minister has been on a hectic schedule over the past two months during which time she continued to work through a bout of dengue," Ghany's release stated.
Trinidad Express Newspapers