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Egypt's doctor death toll hits 47

Egyptian doctors stand in front of the General Hospital in Hurghada, Egypt, 14 February 2020 [Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images]
Egyptian doctors stand in front of the General Hospital in Hurghada, Egypt, 14 February 2020 [Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images]

Egypt's medical union has announced that 47 doctors have now died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Over the weekend seven doctors died of the virus including: obstetrics and gynaecology consultants Samir Othman, Ayman Zaki and Youhana Lofty, paediatric surgeon Mahmoud Khedr, paediatrician Hisham Abd El-Hamid, neurosurgeon Sayid Rushdy and ear, nose and throat consultant Philipe Mitri.

Despite the fact that the government has labelled doctors who died of covid martyrs and the state-run media have referred to them as the white army, there is huge discontent among the medical community over how they have been treated by authorities throughout the pandemic.

The medical union recently warned that the healthcare system in the country is close to collapse and asked authorities to step up measures to protect their doctors.

Shortly after the warning, the country's state-run media launched an incitement campaign against doctors with MP Farag Amer accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of turning doctors against Egypt and forcing them to resign.

READ: Coronavirus spreads in Egypt's Al-Qanater Prison

The head of Sanofi Healthcare Company compared Egypt's doctors with the Egyptian Army: "Have you ever heard of someone from the army avoiding martyrdom, or saying, I'm not playing because people are dying? What do you mean you're protesting?"

An official from the Health Ministry blamed doctors at Mounira Hospital for the death of one of their colleagues, Walid Yahya.

Two weeks ago, doctors resigned on mass to protest against Walid's treatment by the Health Ministry after he was not given a test despite displaying coronavirus symptoms, or a bed in intensive care when his symptoms deteriorated.

Doctors in the country have been demanding more PPE and isolation units for sick medics but have been punished for speaking out.

At least three doctors are in detention after raising concerns over the government's handling of coronavirus.

There are over 34,000 recorded infections in the country and 1,237 have died, however officials have said that this is not the real figure and that statistics should be multiplied by up to seven times.

READ: Coronavirus widens the cracks in Egypt's cement industry

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