Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat is in a critical condition as of Monday morning suffering from complications caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The diplomat is being treated in an Israeli hospital as doctors work to save his life.

The Times of Israel reports:

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat was downgraded to critical condition Monday morning at a Jerusalem hospital where he was moved for treatment a day earlier after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was put on a ventilator and his overall medical condition is posing a unique challenge for the 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, survived a mild heart attack in 2012 and a 2017 lung transplant after years of suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that scars the lungs and damages their ability to circulate oxygen.

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