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Egypt: Doctors resign en masse after death of colleague who wasn’t tested

May 26, 2020 at 10:28 am

Egyptian doctors check a patient’s X-ray on 19 April 2020 [AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Doctors at Mounira General Hospital have resigned on mass to protest against the death of their colleague from coronavirus.

The doctors said Walid Yahya, 32, was not given a test or access to a bed in ICU despite displaying symptoms of the virus.

Walid’s death has underscored an ongoing crisis in Egypt since the spread of COVID-19 where doctors have repeatedly criticised the government for failing to protect them, including providing adequate PPE.

In a letter published on Facebook the Mounira doctors said the Health Ministry had not conducted PCR tests on the staff.

This, the lack of clear protocol and underexperienced doctors has led to the spread of the virus among medical staff and a number of hospitals and departments within hospitals have shut down across the country.

Egypt: Infections rise as government perseveres with virus ‘coexistence’ plan

Egypt’s medical syndicate called for an increase in the number of isolation hospitals for healthcare workers after all medical staff at Al-Azhar University Hospital tested positive for covid earlier this month.

WHO have called on Egypt to carry out more widespread and methodical testing. In April the World Health Organisation said that 13 per cent of all confirmed cases in Egypt were medics.

Doctors demanding tests and adequate PPE have been threatened with dismissal and detention despite the fact that there is a clear problem – Waleed’s death brings the total number of doctors who have died from coronavirus to 19.

Social media users drew comparisons with Waleed’s death and the Health Minister’s treatment of actress Ragaa al-Geddawy who was allocated a VIP ICU room despite the fact that her case was mild.

Hala Zayed personally followed up on Ragaa and she was given a PCR test.

Last week Egypt saw a rise in infection numbers with cases rising by 35 per cent in one day.

Despite the fact that its crisis appears to be worsening Egypt is pushing ahead with a plan to coexist with the virus under which Egyptians would return to work in mid-June along with the opening of sports clubs and religious activities.

Authorities have been criticised for not implementing a full lockdown.

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