At least 150 Saudi royal family members infected with coronavirus: Report

WION Web Team Saudi Arabia Apr 09, 2020, 09.36 PM(IST)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Saudi Arabia's health minister warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within weeks, state media reported

According to a report, several Saudi royal family members have been infected with the coronavirus.

The New York Times citing Saudi hospital sources and the family reported that at least 150 members of the ruling Saudi royal family were infected with COVID-19.

The New York-based newspaper said that     Governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who is in his 70s and the brother of King Salman was in intensive care after falling ill due to the virus.

The report added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has gone into isolation along the Red Sea with his ministers in order to avoid contracting the virus while King Salman, 84, has isolated himself in Jeddah.

The Saudi royal family members brought the virus after travelling to Europe, the NYT reported. The first case of coronavirus was reported in Saudi Arabia on March 2, since then the royal family which runs the country has taken a number of steps to stop the spread of the virus which includes banning pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia reported 2,795 coronavirus cases with 41 deaths.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's health minister warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within weeks, state media said.

"Within the next few weeks, studies predict the number of infections will range from a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000," the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing health minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah.

As the virus spread, the government on Monday announced lockdowns in several cities including Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran, Hofuf, Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar along with the intensification of curfew in various cities to combat the virus.