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Former Polish president Lech Walesa in hospital with Covid-19

Former Polish president Lech Walesa (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Former Polish president Lech Walesa (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Former Polish president Lech Walesa (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Lech Walesa, Poland’s 80-year-old former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been taken to hospital with a severe case of Covid-19, an aide said on Tuesday.

A post on Mr Walesa’s Facebook page shows him on a hospital bed with an oxygen mask on, with a caption that says “I have been hit by Covid”.

(Lech Walesa/Facebook)

The aide, Marek Kaczmar, told Polish media that Mr Walesa is seriously ill, but under good care in a hospital in Gdansk, the Baltic port city where he lives.

It is Mr Walesa’s second bout of Covid.

Starting in 1980, Mr Walesa spearheaded Poland’s pro-democracy Solidarity movement that nine years later led to the peaceful ouster of communism from Poland and inspired other countries to shed Moscow’s domination.

In 1983, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1990-95, he served as democratic Poland’s first popularly elected president.