SAMOA'S PRIME MINISTER TOFILAU REMAINS HOSPITALIZED

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (July 28, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Prime Minister of Samoa remains in New Zealand for medical treatment and rest.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Richard Dinnen reports doctors treating the Prime Minister have denied claims Tofilau is critically ill.

"Seventy-four-year-old Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana was flown from Apia to Auckland two days ago, sparking rumors that he was at death's door.

"The Prime Minister has been in poor health for several years, and has had a number of major operations, including heart by-pass surgery, in hospitals in New Zealand and Australia.

"Cardiologist Dr. Harvey White, who is treating the Prime Minister at Auckland's Green Lane Hospital, says the current visit is for a routine check-up. The Prime Minister has a leg infection, which Dr. White says is unrelated to his previous heart problems.

"Dr. White says Prime Minister Tofilau is in fine condition, and will spend the rest of the week at the hospital resting."

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