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Saeb Erekat intubated at Israeli hospital as COVID-19 condition worsens

Earlier, Erekat said he was experiencing “difficult symptoms resulting from my lack of immunity as a result of lung transplantation.”

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
October 19, 2020

Veteran PLO official Saeb Erekat, who contracted the coronavirus earlier this month, was intubated on Monday after his condition worsened, and he is now considered in critical condition. Erekat was transferred to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem on Sunday in serious condition.

Erekat, 65, underwent a lung transplant in the US in 2017 after suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that scars the lungs and damages their ability to circulate oxygen.

“Mr. Erekat had a quiet night but his condition deteriorated this morning, and is now critical,” a statement from Hadassah said Monday morning. “Due to respiratory distress, he is in a coma and ventilated. Mr. Erekat’s treatment presents a significant challenge as, as the recipient of a lung transplant, he is immunosuppressed and suffers a bacterial infection in addition to the corona.”

According to the hospital, Erekat is in the intensive care unit for corona patients and required high-flow oxygen therapy (HFOT) and oxygen (Airbo). He was not ventilated and was deemed stable when he entered the hospital on Sunday, although his condition deteriorated on Monday.

“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,” said the hospital’s director, Prof. Zeev Rothstein.

Several members of the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction in east Jerusalem arrived at the hospital to inquire about Erekat’s condition.

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