Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat was in critical condition Monday and put on a ventilator at a Jerusalem hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and one of the highest ranking Palestinian officials, posed a “huge challenge” to the medical staff, Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital said.
“Erekat had a quiet night but this morning his condition deteriorated and is now defined as critical, and due to respiratory distress he was intubated and sedated,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Erekat poses a huge challenge in the treatment of the coronavirus due to his lung transplant and its suppression of the immune system, and with a bacterial infection in addition to the coronavirus,” the hospital said. “Hadassah, with its most senior professional physicians, is in contact with international medical professionals regarding such a complex patient care policy.”
Erekat, 65, underwent a 2017 lung transplant in the U.S. as a result of pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that scars the lungs and harms oxygen intake.