Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, who was hospitalised last week, has been diagnosed with pneumonia (lung infection) and breathing with the aid of a tube, but is in stable condition, the royal court said on Friday. The 90-year-old king was admitted to the King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh on Wednesday for health checks.
“Following necessary tests by the medical team, it became apparent there was a lung infection that required the temporary insertion of a tube to help him breathe,” the court said in a statement. “The procedure on Friday evening was a success and the condition has stabilised,” the court added in the statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has been representing the king at most recent public events, including last month’s Gulf summit in Qatar, because of the monarch’s ailing health. The Saudi stock market dropped by about 5 percent at one point following the royal court’s announcement that the king had been hospitalised, before clawing back some of its losses to finish on Wednesday 1.8 percent lower.
The market was closed for the weekend on Friday. The king has been hospitalised several times since becoming the ruler of the world’s top oil exporter in 2005.
He underwent an operation to tighten a loose ligament in his back in 2012. Two years earlier, he had a back operation in the United States after he was diagnosed with a blood clot in the spine and a herniated disc.