Palestinian negotiator Erekat experiencing 'difficult' COVID-19 symptoms

Saeb Erekat has suffered from poor health in recent years, having had a mild heart attack in 2012 and a 2017 lung transplant.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat looks on during a news conference following his meeting with foreign diplomats, in Ramallah, West Bank January 30, 2019 (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat looks on during a news conference following his meeting with foreign diplomats, in Ramallah, West Bank January 30, 2019
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
Chief Palestinian negotiator and Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the PLO Saeb Erekat has tested positive for COVID-19, the 65-year-old politician announced via Twitter on Thursday evening.
In a statement on Twitter, an individual writing on Erekat's behalf said that "The Secretariat of the PLO Executive Committee and the NAD announce that Dr. Saeb Erekat, the PLO SG and the Head of the Negotiations Dept, has been infected with  COVID-19, and wishes him a speedy recovery. We apologize for canceling all his appointments until his complete recovery."
Erkat has canceled all meetings and appointments. In tweets on Friday, Erekat said he was experiencing "difficult symptoms resulting from my lack of immunity as a result of lung transplantation." Erkat had a mild heart attack in 2012 and a 2017 lung transplant after years of suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, putting him in a high risk category for those diagnosed with coronavirus. 
He thanked well-wishers and said "things are under control, thank God."

One of the central architects of the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the PLO, Erekat has been involved as the Palestinian chief negotiator since 1995. He has continued to be the most senior figure in the PLO vis-à-vis negotiations with Israel, and plays an important role in Palestinian politics.
Erekat had previously met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas four days earlier during a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee. All those who attended were later shown to be negative upon receiving coronavirus tests.