Top Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in ‘serious’ condition

Top Palestinian official Saeb Erekat in 'serious' condition
Saeb Erekat had a lung transplant three years ago that makes him more vulnerable to Covid-19. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The Israeli hospital treating Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said he is in a “serious but stable” condition with Covid-19.

On Sunday, the 65-year-old was transferred from his home in the West Bank to Hadassah University Hospital – Ein Karem, near Jerusalem.

He tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation said Mr Erekat needed urgent care because had a lung transplant in 2017.

The hospital said in a statement that he arrived in “critical condition” and had to be given “high-flow oxygen”.

The hospital’s director, Prof Zeev Rothstein, said: “Mr Erekat is receiving top-notch professional care like all serious corona patients at Hadassah, and the staff will do everything to assist his recovery.”

“At Hadassah, we treat every patient as if he were our only patient,” the director added.

Saeb Erekat has been a key negotiator in peace talks between Israel and Palestine for many years.

He was one of the main figures of the Oslo Accords, a series of agreements signed by Israel and Palestinians in the 1990s.

The PLO said in a statement on Sunday: “Following his contraction of Covid-19, and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr Erekat’s condition now requires medical attention in a hospital.”

Witnesses told they saw Mr Erekat on a stretcher outside his home in Jericho, being placed in an Israeli ambulance, Reuters news agency reported.

His brother Saber Erekat told AFP news agency that His situation is not good.

Mr Erekat’s admission to hospital comes as Israel eases a nationwide coronavirus lockdown that has been in place for a month, after seeing a significant decline in the number of new Covid infections.

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