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Navalny released from hospital after 32 days, doctors say full recovery possible

But hospital notes it’s too early to gauge the ‘potential long-term effects’ of Russian opposition leader’s severe poisoning from nerve agent

In this handout photo published by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on his Instagram account on  Sept. 22, 2020 (Navalny Instagram via AP)
In this handout photo published by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on his Instagram account on Sept. 22, 2020 (Navalny Instagram via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — The German hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for poisoning said Wednesday that his condition improved enough for him to be released, and suggested a “complete recovery” from the nerve agent was possible.

Navalny, 44, spent 32 days in treatment in Berlin’s Charite hospital, 24 of which were in intensive care, before doctors deemed his “condition had improved sufficiently for him to be discharged from acute inpatient care.”

The hospital said that based on Navalny’s progress, treating physicians believe that “complete recovery is possible,” but added that it “remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning.”

Navalny, the most visible opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on Aug. 20 on a domestic flight in Russia.

This handout photo published by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on his instagram account, shows himself, center, and his wife Yulia, right, daughter Daria, and son Zakhar, top left, posing for a photo in a hospital in Berlin, Germany (Navalny instagram via AP)

German chemical weapons experts have determined he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok — findings corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.

It was the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018, and Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders have called for Russia to fully investigate.

Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than two weeks as he was treated with an antidote. Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently denied.

Russia has bristled at the demands for an investigation, saying it needs Germany to share medical data or compare notes with the Russian doctors who said they found no trace of poison in his system while he was at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Germany has noted that Navalny was in Russian treatment for 48 hours, and that Russia has its own data.

Germany has also enlisted the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for technical assistance in the case.

Last week, the international agency said its experts had “ independently collected biomedical samples from Mr Navalny for analysis by OPCW designated laboratories.”

Results have not yet been announced.

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