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COVID-19 patient jumps to death from Egypt hospital window

Medical staff, wearing protective gear, incubate a patient in the isolated ward for the coronavirus in Cairo, Egypt on 29 April 2020 (COVID-19) [YAHYA DIWER/AFP/Getty Images]
Medical staff wearing protective gear help a patient in the isolated ward for the coronavirus in Cairo, Egypt on 29 April 2020 (COVID-19) [YAHYA DIWER/AFP/Getty Images]

A coronavirus patient has died after jumping out of a window on the third floor of a hospital in Qena Governorate, the state-run Al-Ahram reports.

The 53-year-old committed suicide after his mental health deteriorated after becoming infected with COVID-19.

He is the second person known in Egypt to commit suicide after contracting the virus. In May another patient jumped from the fourth floor of Cairo Abbasiya's Pulmonology Hospital.

Health experts across the world have warned of the hidden effects of coronavirus on mental health including the psychological impact of people feeling trapped and lonely due to social distancing measures.

Despite the fact that the Health Ministry has created a hotline for isolated Egyptians in need of psychological support, mental health issues are still stigmatised in Egypt.

Early on in the pandemic, the country's second richest man Naguib Sawiris threatened to commit suicide if the curfew was implemented beyond 3 April, however he was widely criticised for worrying about his personal fortune rather than the lives of Egyptians.

READ: UN urges Libya to investigate viral video of Egypt labourers being abused

Suicide was already a growing phenomenon in Egypt due to the increase in living burdens on Egyptians of which 60 per cent are either poor or vulnerable.

Coronavirus is spreading in Egypt despite the fact that authorities are relaxing preventative measures as their economy suffers.

WHO experts have warned that Egypt is among the countries which could experience a second wave of infections.

There are almost 48,000 coronavirus cases in Egypt and 1,766 deaths. Officials say the figures are at least seven times higher.

On 1 April Egypt's health minister said that the COVID-19 spread would be contained within three weeks, however, the country's top medical union has recently warned that the health care system is about to collapse.

In March Dr Alaa Shaaban Hamida, who was working at El-Shatby General Hospital, was arrested after her manager reported her to the national security forces. A nurse working in Alaa's department had used her phone to report a covid case to the Ministry of Health after which she was accused of causing fear and panic.

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