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(Credit: Eric Frommer)


John Prine in "critical condition" after being hospitalised for coronavirus

Grammy Award-winning country musician John Prine is in a “critical condition” after being hospitalised with symptoms of coronavirus.

Confirmation was made that the 73-year-old singer-songwriter had been hospitalised on Thursday and, after his situation continued to deteriorate, he was intubated on Saturday. The news came just days after Prine’s wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, said that she had coronavirus and that the couple were self-quarantining separately.

“After a sudden onset of Covid-19 symptoms,” a statement reads from Prine’s social media. “John was hospitalised on Thursday (March 26). He was intubated Saturday evening, and continues to receive care, but his situation is critical.”

The message adds: “This is hard news for us to share. But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now.

“And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Prine, a hugely celebrated musician since the early 1970s, has enjoyed a unique ability to tackle themes of protest and social unrest but often deliver his songs with innate humour to his live shows. While his work has garnered many cult fans, Prine achieved critical acclaim when he won two Grammys for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1992 and 2006. Furthermore, the musician received a lifetime achievement award from The Recording Academy earlier this year. 

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 29th, more than 723,869 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.

With more than 34,000 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy, Spain and the UK, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.