After King Salman underwent tough medical tests in Jeddah hospital this week, doubts about his chance of surviving have risen.
It was on this past Sunday that the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, underwent a colonoscopy at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah. “May God preserve the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and may he enjoy health and wellness,” a royal palace statement was quoted as saying.
Good to mention that colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. During a colonoscopy, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon.
A few weeks earlier, the king also had a heart surgery for changing the battery of his pacemaker, a small device that’s placed (implanted) in the chest to help control the heartbeat. The Saudi ruler also had surgery in 2020 to remove his gallbladder, after which he spent 10 days in the hospital.
The international community is very much sensitive about the health conditions of the Saudi King and is closely watching it. And this is because Saudi Arabia is an important and rich country that is also the world’s largest oil exporter. The country is also always being rebuked for human rights violations of the Saudi authorities against Saudi people as well as foreign nationals in the country.
Saudi health officials have always kept the King’s health concerns top secret. That’s why getting the latest accurate news about how the old king feels is difficult even for the very people of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Press Agency, the official news agency of Saudi Arabia, said this Monday that the king “will spend some time at the hospital, according to the treatment plan recommended by the medical team”.
However, the worrying news for the Royal family is that health experts believe the chances of survival for King Salman are less than 10 percent. They have even warned that the old king may die in two weeks or so.
The last time King Salman appeared in public was some two weeks ago when he attended the Eid al-Fitr prayers.
All these health conditions for King Salman have given rise to speculations that the ruler of the richest monarchy in the Persian Gulf may be living his final days.
Who will rule the kingdom after King Salman?
The 86-year-old King Salman has been the ruler of Saudi Arabia since 2015 and has appointed his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as his successor. Bin Salman is now only 36 years old, leaving his mane as the youngest de-facto leader of Saudi Arabia. In the absence of his father when he is in hospital, the young Bin Salman is responsible for leading the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom.
In the recent years, the young Crown Prince has carried out several social and economic reforms, in the hope of strengthening his position as the future king of the country
Under his rule, Saudi Arabia has expanded its oil production capacity to more than 13 million barrels per day. It is aimed at retaining the country’s place as the largest global crude exporter in the coming years.
But Bin Salman has also been facing several challenges such as his role in the Jamal Khashoggi murder back in 2018, and universal rebuke against him for the execution of 81 people on March 12 this year.