CAIRO: A leading doctor has called on the government to impose a full curfew during the remaining two weeks of Ramadan.
The head of the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate, Dr. Hussein Khairy, said the risk of the virus spreading might increase manifold during these weeks, as the country is already witnessing a surge in cases.
In a letter sent to the Egyptian Cabinet, he stressed the need to impose a full curfew during the remaining days of Ramadan. He said: “We have found that people have not taken the fatal disease seriously.”
He hoped that the measure would help check the spread of the disease.
Khairy told Arab News that this was not the syndicate’s request but rather his personal request, which was supported by Dr. Sherine Ghaleb, head of the Cairo Doctors’ Syndicate.
Khairy said: “I don’t claim to be an expert in pandemics. However, this is my logical view as a doctor and from the experiences we have seen in other countries.”
Ghaleb said many people are not adhering to social distancing measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19): “Some Egyptians took the coronavirus issue lightly.”
Ghaleb said there are reports of people gathering for iftar meals, which is very dangerous.
We have found that the people have not taken the fatal disease seriously.
Dr. Hussein Khairy
“People are also going out for Eid shopping after stores announced lucrative sales. This means more infections in the coming period. Moreover, there is a surge in infections among medical teams who could get a chance to rest if a full curfew was imposed,” she said.
She said that “the curfew could be imposed, exempting some institutions and (government) bodies. This would have a good effect and the numbers of infections would go down. We can control the situation to an extent until we get a vaccine, which is expected in September. The step will help us in the war against the virus.”
The secretary-general of the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate, Ehab El-Taher, said that the letter sent by Khairy calling for a two-week curfew to counter the coronavirus was a personal letter, and that the syndicate had nothing to do with it.
El-Taher said the more precautionary measures taken to counter the coronavirus, the more things will get under control. He noted that part-time workers need jobs to support their families.
He said: “The state granted part-time workers 500 Egyptian pounds ($32) as a contribution but it is not enough. Imposing a full curfew will be a problem for those people.”
“If the state has the financial ability to compensate part-time workers, then a full-time curfew would be better. But if the state can’t support them a full curfew should not be imposed.”