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Iran Press TV

Coronavirus infections among Saudi royals 'exceedingly surpassed' previous figures

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 18 April 2020 9:15 AM

A Saudi whistleblower has said that the number of Saudi royals infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) has "exceedingly surpassed" figures previously revealed by a New York Times report.

The Saudi al-Ahd al-Jadid Twitter account made the revelations on Friday, more than a week after the NYT report said as many as 150 Saudi royals had contracted the virus.

The report at the time said that over 500 beds were being prepared at the elite King Faisal Specialist Hospital that treats members of the Saudi family.

On Friday, however, al-Ahd al-Jadid, which is known for whistleblowing on high-profile cases within the Saudi court, revealed that the Saudi hospital reserved for the royals in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah had been overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.

"The Jeddah specialist hospital, which is reserved for Saudi royals, is no longer capable of accepting new cases," the Twitter account said.

"Therefore, two hotels have been reserved to be fully used for accommodating and curing infected royals," it added, naming one of the hotels as being the "Movenpick Hotel".

As of 1400 GMT on Friday, more than 7,142 confirmed coronavirus cases were reported in the kingdom, with 87 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Another Saudi whistleblower, Mujtahid, however, has cast doubt on official figures, arguing that the situation throughout the kingdom is much more critical.

The reports of the COVID-19 disease spreading among royals come as the Saudi family is embroiled in a bitter power struggle between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his potential rivals, according to reports.

Since 2017, several wave of arrests have led to the imprisonment of many high-ranking Saudi royals over alleged corruption and attempted coup d'état charges seeking to unseat King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the crown prince.

According to NYT, King Salman has currently secluded himself in an island palace near Jeddah amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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