Egyptian doctors call for more facilities to handle pandemic

Egyptian doctors call for more facilities to handle pandemic
People are pictured wearing protective face masks, amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
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Updated 26 May 2020

Egyptian doctors call for more facilities to handle pandemic

Egyptian doctors call for more facilities to handle pandemic
  • The virus has infected more than 350 members of Egypt’s medical staff. The number of doctors who have lost their lives to the virus has risen to 19

CAIRO: The Egyptian Doctors Syndicate said the Health Ministry failed to provide its members with the proper protection to ensure their safety while caring for patients with COVID-19.

Doctors in Egypt have expressed anger over the lack of medical supplies and tests for the virus.

The country mourned the passing away of four doctors on Sunday, which coincided with the first day of Eid Al-Fitr.

Their deaths were met with the resignation of several doctors, one of whom blamed “wilful negligence.”

As of Sunday, the ministry reported a total of 17,265 cases of coronavirus in Egypt and 764 deaths.

The virus has infected more than 350 members of Egypt’s medical staff. The number of doctors who have lost their lives to the virus has risen to 19. 

Doctors and nurses are not the only ones complaining about how health officials are handling the pandemic and the rising numbers of infections and deaths. 

“Back in March, the hotline was very responsive and it was very easy for me to be connected to a medical professional,” said a 32-year-old mother of three. 

“Now the hotline is dead. I called several times in May but I never got an answer. I believe the ministry is overwhelmed and can no longer handle the increasing numbers of cases.”

The ministry launched the hotline to help people who believed they might have contracted the virus. 

It says isolation hospitals are full and can no longer take in patients, yet it provided Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Geddawy with two rooms in one such hospital that was reportedly operating at full capacity. 

A colleague of Walid Yehya, a doctor who died from the virus, criticized the ministry for prioritizing those with money and fame over its own medical staff. 

Meanwhile, Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed directed officials to provide the best possible care to medical personnel.

“There is a complete floor in each isolation hospital with a capacity of 20 beds allocated for the affected medical staff,” she added.

The minister also stressed on providing psychological support to sick medical staff in isolation hospitals.