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Outbreak of COVID-19 among doctors at Egypt hospital

November 25, 2020 at 3:25 pm

An Egyptian medical worker checks blood donated from a person who recovered from Covid-19 in Cairo on 22 July 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

There has been an outbreak of coronavirus at the chest unit of Ain Shams Hospital, according to the former Egyptian minister of health.

In a statement Mohammed Awad Taj Al-Din said that all doctors at the chest unit had been infected with coronavirus.

According to Egypt Watch, the number of doctors who have now died from coronavirus has increased to 205.

Dr Mohamed Wahba, consultant to the head of the Physical Medicine and Rheumatology department at Farskor Hospital, was the latest doctor to die of the virus earlier this week.

Since the start of the pandemic, Egypt’s doctors have faced staff shortages, difficulty in obtaining medical supplies, lack of PPE and are navigating an underfunded, dilapidated health care system.

READ: Jeremy Corbyn joins growing chorus of condemnation over Egypt’s arrest of rights advocates

Doctors who have spoken out about the crisis have been detained.

In March, Doctor Aala Shaaban Hamida was reported to national security by her boss who complained she was causing fear and panic after a nurse in her department used her phone to report a covid case to the health ministry.

Others have been incarcerated for speaking out about a lack of protective equipment including masks for doctors, after several complained about having to buy them out of their own wages.

There was an outcry when it was revealed the Egyptian government was sending medical aid to its allies in Italy, the US and the US when medics at home were suffering severe shortages.

Ophthalmologist Hany Bakr was detained on medical changes after questioning why aid was going abroad when there was such a severe shortage at home.

At the height of the pandemic, several pictures of people standing outside hospitals that were full, asking others for advice about where they could find a hospital bed, went viral.

Yesterday, Egypt reported 361 new covid cases and 13 deaths. Experts say the figures of infections are likely to be far higher amid government attempts to downplay the figures.