Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez has returned to his Mexico City home after a week-long hospitalisation for pneumonia, but officials say he remains in “delicate” condition.
The 87-year-old Colombian writer, who has lived in the Mexican capital for more than three decades, arrived in an ambulance on Tuesday as a throng of journalists waited outside his home, which was guarded by police.
Garcia Marquez had overcome a lung infection after “quite severe pneumonic symptoms,” Health Minister Mercedes Juan told Radio Formula.
The treatment had to be “very special due to the writer’s age,” she said, adding that he will receive oxygen therapy at home to prevent a new infection.
An oxygen tank was delivered to his home along with a medical bed and yellow roses, his favourite colour.
When the ambulance arrived, his assistants held up bed sheets to prevent journalists from filming or taking pictures of Garcia Marquez.
“His condition is delicate due to his age. He will recover at home,” Jaqueline Pineda, spokeswoman of the National Medical Sciences and Nutrition Institute, told reporters outside the hospital.
Garcia Marquez was hospitalised on March 31 and treated with antibiotics for lung and urinary tract infections.
His hospitalisation was only made public four days later. At the time, his son, Gonzalo Garcia Barcha, said the family decided to take him to the hospital as a precaution and that it was not an emergency.
The 1982 Nobel laureate is a pioneer of magical realism, writing epic stories of love, family and dictatorship in Latin America.
His masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” has sold millions of copies and has been translated into 35 languages since it was first published in 1967.
Known affectionately as “Gabo,” Garcia Marquez has made fewer public appearances in recent years.
His last public outing was on March 6, when he came out of his house to greet journalists who visited him for his birthday.
The author smiled, accepted gifts and posed for photographs, but he did not speak to reporters.
His brother Jaime said in July 2012 that his famous sibling was suffering from dementia.
He lives in Mexico with his wife, Mercedes Barcha, mother of his two children.
Garcia Marquez, who also worked as a journalist, had asked his assistant to convey a message to reporters during his hospitalisation last week: “Are you crazy? Why are you spending so much time out here? Go back to work.”