- About 150 members of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabian royal family, including members of the lesser branches of the extensive family, allegedly tested positive of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- According to reports, an internal memo sent around the King Faisal Specialist Hospital said that about “500 beds have been reserved for royal families and those close to them.”
- King Salman, 84, and his heir, Salman 34, are currently in an isolation island in Jeddah.
About “as many as” 150 members of the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabian royal family may have contracted the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are no official confirmations yet from the kingdom, a person close to the family told the New York Times that around 150 princes and princesses may have been infected of the virus and are currently on isolation after traveling to Europe.
Doctors have initially confirmed that the governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulziz al Sau, and the nephew of King Salman, tested positive of COVID-19. The latter, the report said, is currently in the intensive care unit of King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
King Salman, who is 84 years old, is safe from the virus and is currently in an isolation that they own near the city of Jeddah.
Meanwhile, King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 34, is also in a separate isolation property on the coast of the Red Sea. He is with his other ministers who are also in self-quarantine.
In a report from the New York Times, we read that there was an internal memo sent around the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, an elite institution where the royals are being taken care of. The memo allegedly said that there will be 500 beds reserved for the royal family members and their closest friends as the pandemic continue to increase in the kingdom.
The said memo also instructed that “all chronic patients to be moved out ASAP” and they will only accommodate those “top urgent cases”.
“Directives are to be ready for V.I.P.s. from around the country…We don’t know how many cases we will get but high alert…all chronic patients be moved out ASAP, and only top urgent cases will be accepted,” the hospital operators allegedly wrote in the alert memo.
Amidst the pandemic, the royal rulers have already restricted any air and land international travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The kingdom also cancelled the annual pilgrimages to the Muslim holy sites.
The kingdom also indicated that it may also cancel the yearly hajj pilgrimage this summer, where 2.5-million Islamic faithfuls are expected to convene in the Mecca.
“If it is reaching into the family, then it becomes an urgent issue,” said Rice University professor Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
So far, KSA has 4,033 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 52 fatalities.
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