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Côte d’Ivoire: Why Prime Minister Coulibaly is at hospital in France

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Wednesday, 6 May 2020 13:28

Amadou Gon Coulibaly, premier ministre de Cote d'Ivoire
Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire in his office in Abidjan, 30 June 2017 / ©Jeune Afrique

Amadou Gon Coulibaly arrived in Paris on Sunday, 3 May in the early morning hours. The Ivorian prime minister underwent medical tests on Monday at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

On the evening of 2 May, Amadou Gon Coulibaly (AGC) took off from Abidjan for Paris on board a Gulfstream VU-TAE, one of the aircrafts in Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential fleet.

France gave the green light for the flight at a time when European airspace is almost entirely closed.

According to our sources, the 61-year-old Ivorian prime minister felt extremely tired during the evening of 1 May and had also experienced stomach pain.

“He felt something was off and didn’t want to take any chances”, said a person close to President Alassane Ouattara. “When you skip an important medical check-up, you can really pay the price. This is a stressful time for him, he needs rest.”

AGC had initially planned to come to Paris on 14 April for a medical check-up, but he had to cancel the trip due to the health emergency in Côte d’Ivoire.

Self-quarantine

Between the end of March and early April, he had already been forced to self-quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, but his trip to Paris is not coronavirus related.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: how presidents across Africa are protecting themselves

Accompanied by his wife Assétou and his Ivorian cardiologist Charles Philippe Zogbo, Coulibaly arrived at Paris-Le Bourget Airport on Sunday at 6:17 a.m. He was welcomed by Charles Providence Gomis, Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire in France, prior to being admitted to Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

Coulibaly was also able to talk with President Ouattara, as well as with several of his staff members and friends. He underwent a thorough battery of medical tests on Monday to assess his health condition.

Ever since the prime minister underwent a heart transplant at the hospital in June 2012, he regularly returns to have his most important health screenings performed there.

AGC also receives care at the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

The prime minister’s stay in France is expected to last at least a week. In his absence, Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko is serving as acting prime minister.

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