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Egypt: 4 MPs in isolation after displaying covid symptoms

The Egyptian parliament [Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian parliament in session [Anadolu Agency]

Four Egyptian MPs are in isolation after displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the parliament’s secretary-general has said.

Wafd Party MP Fawzi Said Eid Heikal was admitted to a private hospital yesterday after suffering breathing problems; his test came back positive.

MPs Nawsha El-Deeb, Omar Watany and Hesham Magdi have all been admitted to private hospitals, whilst MP Sherine Farraj has reportedly now recovered from the virus.

Despite the fact that several politicians have contracted the potentially fatal disease, Egypt’s parliament will press ahead with plenary meetings, including one scheduled for 7 June.

The government has come under criticism for its failure to implement and enforce adequate preventative measures in the country which commentators say is why the infection rate is so high.

There was never a full lockdown in the country, only a curfew which is regularly shortened.

READ: Anger in Egypt over hospitals’ rejection to treat woman infected with COVID-19

Now, authorities have announced the gradual loosening of preventative measures and said Egypt will coexist with the virus despite the fact that it has recorded the highest daily rise so far for the fourth consecutive day.

Yesterday, Egypt reported 1,536 new infections and 46 deaths though researchers believe the figures are actually far higher.

Egyptian hotels are now operating with an occupancy rate of 25 per cent and have now almost reached full capacity. The government plans to raise the occupancy rate to 50 per cent this month.

Egypt’s medical union has warned that the country’s health system is close to collapse after 19 doctors died of coronavirus and 350 have been infected.

There is a dangerous lack of PPE and not enough isolation units for doctors and other sick medics.

The MPs’ treatment in private hospitals is likely to draw criticism at a time authorities are being heavily criticised for failing to protect medics on the front line.

Walid Yahya, 32, a doctor died last week after not being given a test or a bed in intensive care.

Doctors demanding tests, adequate protective equipment and complaining about their general situation have been threatened and dismissed.

Over the weekend Egyptian activists posted a video of an Egyptian woman infected with coronavirus lying on the ground after several hospitals refused to admit her due to a lack of beds and medication.

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