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Satyam probe in the sickbay

If the Satyam Computer case is to be solved and the accused named and punished, it is important that the man who knows it all, stays healthy.

E. Kumar Sharma        Print Edition: May 30, 2010

Few will disagree that B. Ramalinga Raju's health is very important. For if the Satyam Computer case is to be solved and the accused named and punished, it is important that the man who knows it all, stays healthy. But there seems to be a problem. Raju, 55, has been in the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, a state-backed autonomous hospital in Hyderabad, since December 2009.

Raju has been suffering from Hepatitis C for nearly a decade now, say the doctors who are treating him. "It's nearing cirrhosis, and if untreated could lead to liver failure or cancer in two to three years," says one of the doctors. In the initial years of detection, Raju had stopped treatment as he was apparently put off by the side-effects of the treatment, but not anymore.

As a result, his white blood corpuscle count is down to around 3,000 per cubic mm, as against 4,000 to 11,000 in a healthy human being. That has reduced his immunity and made him prone to infections. Therefore, jail's not an option.

Falling blood platelet count has also made him susceptible to bleeding, that at times, Raju suffers from. For the past three months, Raju has been on this treatment and may need another six months to a year depending on how he responds to the treatment. How this will impact the future course of the Satyam investigation will need to be watched.

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