Doctor loses sight fighting coronavirus in Cairo

Ten doctors have died in Egypt and 178 have been infected while fighting the coronavirus, according to the Doctors Syndicate. (AFP)
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Updated 15 May 2020

Doctor loses sight fighting coronavirus in Cairo

CAIRO: The Egyptian government will treat a doctor for free after he lost his eyesight while working in a coronavirus quarantine hospital. 

The doctor, Mahmoud Samy, lost sight in both eyes after suffering from high blood pressure that affected the ophthalmic artery. 

Although Samy was not blinded directly by the virus, government officials said that he will be transferred from Kafr El-Sheikh Hospital to the International Medical Center and treated at the state’s expense. 

The Health Affairs Department in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, north of Cairo, said that Samy, a fever specialist at Bella Hospital, was left blind after suffering from high blood pressure while working in the quarantine hospital in Balteem. 

In a statement, health officials said that Samy suffered from breathing difficulties and high blood pressure. His health deteriorated on May 9, and he received first aid and underwent a CT scan. Later he was taken by ambulance to the intensive care unit in Kafr El-Sheikh Chest Hospital. 

Samy tested negative for the coronavirus, but after his condition improved, he discovered he was unable to see. 

In a media statement made while in intensive care, Samy said that he did not regret carrying out his duties. 

“If it happened all over again, I would perform my duty as a doctor,” he said. 

“I hope that God cures me and gives me back my eyesight so I can go back to work and help my colleagues fight the coronavirus. 

“I do not regret carrying out my duty. May God help doctors, nurses and the state in fighting this pandemic.” 

Dr. Amr Abu Samra, head of the Kafr El-Sheikh Doctors Syndicate, said that specialists are monitoring Samy’s health and providing him with emotional support. 

Ten doctors have died in Egypt and 178 have been infected while fighting the coronavirus, according to the Doctors Syndicate. 

The most recent death was Dr. Karem Mahmoud Abul Magd, head of the Internal Medicine Department in Luxor International Hospital, who died of COVID-19 late on Wednesday in Aswan Quarantine Hospital in Upper Egypt. 

Dr. Kawthar Mahmoud, head of the Nurses Syndicate and head of the Central Department for Nursing in Egypt, said that so far six nurses have died from COVID-19. 

The latest victim was Soheir Helmy, a nurse in El-Demerdash Surgery Hospital, who fell ill while working in the quarantine hospital in Abour.


Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

Updated 20 September 2020

Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

  • Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran dismissed US efforts to restore all UN sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran.
The rial has lost more than 30 percent of its value to the dollar since June as sweeping US sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil globally. Iran’s currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama administration but which the Trump administration pulled the US from.
As the currency plummeted, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the Trump administration’s declaration Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran have been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.
The US move has been rejected as illegal by most of the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.
Even before the US declaration, other Security Council members had vowed to ignore it. They say the US lost legal standing to invoke snapback sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and began reimposing US sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian government spokesman said the snapback sanctions have only happened in “the fantastical world” of the Trump administration. He said the US stands on the wrong side of history.
“They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it except for themselves,” Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on Sunday.
“It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others,” the spokesman said, referring to the US secretary of state.
“Tehran’s message to Washington is clear: return to the international community, return to your commitments and stop bullying so the international community will accept you,” he added.
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how the US will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will be penalized for violations.
Tensions are running high between Iran and the US, particularly since a US strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on Iraqi bases housing American troops.