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Coronavirus widespread among Saudi royal family

Published on April 9, 2020 5:05 AM
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Coronavirus widespread among Saudi royal family: Report
At least one high-ranking royal, as well as dozens of lower-level officials, have COVID-19, The New York Times reports.

Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is reportedly in intensive care after contracting coronavirus [Ahmed Yosri/Reuters]
Dozens of members of the ruling Saudi royal family, as many as 150, have been infected with coronavirus in recent weeks, a news report said.

Saudi Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - the governor of the capital Riyadh who is in his 70s - is in intensive care after contracting the virus, according to The New York Times, which cited hospital communications, doctors in the country and sources familiar with the family.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) have retreated into isolation to avoid the outbreak.

Doctors at an elite hospital that treats royals are preparing 500 more beds for an expected influx of patients.

"Directives are to be ready for VIPs from around the country," the operators of the elite facility, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, wrote in a "high alert" sent out electronically on Tuesday to senior doctors and later obtained by the Times.

"We don't know how many cases we will get but high alert," said the message, which instructed "all chronic patients to be moved out ASAP" and only "top urgent cases" will be accepted, according to the newspaper.

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The alert added any infected staff members will now be treated at a less elite hospital to save room for royals.

There are thousands of ...

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