Coronavirus: 150 Members Of Royal Family Suspected For COVID-19 Disease
The coronavirus continues to devastate a huge part of the world's population, and the royal family is no exemption from getting COVID-19.
The widespread pandemic just proved that no amount of fame, money, or status can keep anyone else safe from contracting it -- even the royals.
On Thursday, it has been reported that over 150 members of the Saudi Arabian royal family have caught the coronavirus disease, causing fears among the authoritarian kingdom's powerful rulers.
According to The New York Times, the said total number of potential COVID-19 patients includes even the members of low-lying branches of the Saudi Arabian monarchy.
Among them is the 34-year-old heir, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Together with his ministers, the crown prince has been put in isolation near the Red Sea as part of safety measures.
This move also caused his 84-year-old father, King Salman, to move near the city of Jeddah for precautionary isolation.
In addition, the 70-year-old governor of Riyadh and King Salman's nephew Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is confirmed to be staying in an intensive care unit after he caught the life-threatening illness.
Medical experts and other members of the royal family believe that the princes caught the coronavirus while traveling to Europe.
Moreover, the health crisis turned out to be the country's key element in Saudi's choice to finally announce a ceasefire in Yemen. To recall, Riyadh has been combatting Iran-backed Houthi revolutionaries since 2015.
Saudi Arabian Royal Family Prepares For The Worst
As of this writing, the Johns Hopkins University already tallied over 2,900 confirmed cases in the kingdom -- 631 of which have already recovered and 41 have succumbed -- ever since the country discovered its first case six weeks ago.
As part of the royal family's preparation, a memo has been disseminated at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, stating that 500 hospital beds have already been prepared solely for the COVID-19-infected royal family members.
A spokesperson from the hospital said, "Directives are to be ready for V.I.P.s from around the country."
They confirmed that their sick staff members will be sent to a less elite medical center to give way and make room for the royal family.
"If it is reaching into the family, then it becomes an urgent issue," Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, an expert on the Saudi royal family from Rice University, explained.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister of Saudi Arabia, Tawfiq al-Rabiah, sent a warning that their coronavirus battle is not yet on the peak and is just beginning.
He predicts that "a minimum of 10,000 to a maximum of 200,000" infections will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
To minimize the spread, the country closed down and prohibited travels to and from the country and announced a 24-hour lockdown to its cities with limited exceptions.
Because of the coronavirus, they might cancel the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, which brings around 2.5 million pilgrims to the city every year.