Former West Bengal Chief Minister and veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was admitted to a private hospital in south Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon as his respiratory problems aggravated and his health condition is stated to be critical, officials said. Bhattacharya, 76, has tested negative for COVID-19, they said. According to reports, the 76-year-old Bhattacharya developed difficulty in breathing and his respiratory problems aggravated this afternoon. He been unwell for quite some time as he was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as well as other old age-related ailments for quite some time. He has been put on ventilator support at the critical care unit of the private hospital, news agencies reported, citing sources. Necessary tests are now being conducted upon the veteran leader at the hospital’s flu-clinic. “Mr Bhattacharya’s RT-PCR test showed he was COVID- negative and that is good news. The CT scan of his brain showed old lacunar infarcts. He is undergoing treatment at the CCU,” PTI quoted a senior official of the hospital. “He is presently on non-invasive ventilation (BIPAP) and maintaining an oxygen saturation of 95 per cent. He remains critical but responding to current treatment,” he added. His oxygen saturation deteriorated to 70 per cent in the morning and he became unconscious, following which he was rushed to the hospital. Bhattacharya, who was the chief minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011, has been suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other old age- related ailments for quite some time. He had stepped down from the CPI(M)’s politburo, the central committee as well as the state secretariat in 2018.