Senior PLO official Erekat taken to Israeli hospital for COVID treatment

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was taken by ambulance from his home in the occupied West Bank on Sunday to a hospital in Israel for treatment of a worsening coronavirus infection, the Palestine Liberation Organization said.

Erekat, 65, has been receiving medical care at home since disclosing on Oct. 8 that he had contracted the virus. In addition to his role as chief negotiator, Erekat is secretary-general of the PLO.

"Following his contraction of COVID-19, and due to the chronic health problems he faces in the respiratory system, Dr. Erekat's condition now requires medical attention in a hospital. He is currently being transferred to a hospital in Tel Aviv," the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department said in a statement.

There is heightened concern over Erekat's vulnerability because he underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017. Witnesses said Erekat was on a stretcher when he was placed inside an Israeli ambulance outside his home in Jericho.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Abdel Abu Nimeh and Rami Ayyub; Writing by Jeffrey Heller)

10/18/2020 12:29

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