Saudi King Salman to undergo tests due to high fever

Saudi state media reports that monarch will undergo second round of medical tests in less than a month

Reuters | AFP
May 19, 2024
Saudi King Salman to undergo tests due to high fever
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives a virtual speech during an opening session of the 15th annual G20 Leaders' Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 21, 2020. — Reuters

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz will undergo medical tests on Sunday due to "high temperature and joint pain", state news agency SPA reported.

The examinations will be conducted for the second time in a month at the royal clinics at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah. The king, 88, was last admitted to hospital in April for a routine checkup, state TV reported then.

King Salman, the custodian of Islam's holiest sites, became ruler of the world's top oil exporter in 2015 after spending more than two-and-a-half years as the crown prince and deputy premier.

Though his son, Mohammed bin Salman, 38, was named crown prince in 2017 and acts as day-to-day ruler.

Currently, King Salman "suffers from a high temperature and pain in the joints," the statement said. "The treating medical team decided to conduct some tests to diagnose the health condition and to ensure his health."

The monarch's health is rarely discussed, but the Royal Court disclosed in April that he had been admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital for "routine examinations". He left the hospital later that day.

Prior to that, his most recent hospitalisation had been in May 2022, when he went in for a colonoscopy and stayed for just over a week for other tests and "some time to rest", SPA reported at the time.

Saudi Arabia has for years sought to quell speculation over King Salman's health.

In 2017, Riyadh dismissed reports and mounting speculation that the king was planning to abdicate in favour of Prince Mohammed.

King Salman underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder in 2020.

He was also admitted to hospital in March 2022 to undergo what state media described as "successful medical tests" and to change the battery of his pacemaker.

King Salman served as Riyadh governor for decades and also as defence minister.

His reign as king has been marked by ambitious social and economic reforms largely managed by his son, who is trying to position Saudi Arabia for an eventual post-oil future.

Prince Mohammed has also overseen an intense crackdown on dissent that analysts say has helped him consolidate power.