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The speaker of the Czech upper house said that the country’s president, Milos Zeman, was unable to perform his duties, having spent a week in intensive care, and that he is unlikely to resume his duties. functions in the coming weeks.

Speaking on Monday, Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil told reporters he had been told by medics that there was only a small chance the Czech leader would return to work in the coming weeks.

Vystricil was quoting a report from the hospital Zeman is staying in, having been admitted to intensive care a week ago. Vystrcil said Zeman was unable to perform his duties and the government should consider transferring responsibilities from the president to other officials.

Zeman was rushed to hospital eight days ago, shortly after speaking with outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis. The hospital director said he was admitted to intensive care with complications from a pre-existing condition.

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The president was also taken to hospital in September. He is known to have a variety of health problems, including diabetes, and was a heavy smoker and drinker. During a visit to a cigarette factory in 2013, he announced that it was safe for people to start smoking later in life.

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