CAIRO - Egypt's prison authority has approved a request to let Hosni Mubarak's eldest son stay close to him in a prison hospital in response to the former president's deteriorating health, including coming in and out of a coma, the state news agency reported on Monday.

Mubarak had requested his son Alaa be moved close to him after the authorities earlier agreed to a similar request by the 84-year-old to have his youngest son Gamal brought next to him, the agency reported.

Citing a security source in the Interior Ministry, the report said the latest decision was in response to "a deterioration in his health."

He has also reportedly slipped in and out of a coma at times, although prison sources said on Monday he was awake and with his sons.

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