Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt: Entire ICU ward dies after oxygen supply fails

The tragedy has underscored the corruption and negligence at the heart of Egypt's ruling government...

January 4, 2021 at 12:01 pm

All coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit in Egypt have died after the oxygen supply to the ward failed.

Footage captured by one of the patient’s relatives taken at El Husseineya Central Hospital in Ash Sharqia province has gone viral online.

The cameraman’s aunt, Fatima Al-Sayed Mohamed Ibrahim, 66, was among the patients being treated at the quarantine centre.

The incident happened after the oxygen level was almost below two per cent and there was neither enough pressure nor enough oxygen to save the patients’ lives.

It is the second such incident to occur after patients in the ICU at Zefta General Hospital suffered the same fate.

The tragedy has underscored the corruption and negligence at the heart of Egypt’s ruling government.

Update: Egypt’s health minister admits to oxygen crisis in hospitals

Egypt’s Heath Minister Hala Zayed claimed that the patients didn’t die due to lack of oxygen and accused the Muslim Brotherhood of spreading rumours.

The Director of the hospital, Dr Muhammad Sami Al-Najjar, spoke in another video claiming that the situation was normal. He denied that there was a lack of oxygen. He said the patients had died from natural causes, from old age or other chronic diseases.

The Governor of Ash Sharqia, Dr Mamdouh Gorab, said four patients, rather than the whole ward, died.

There are unconfirmed reports on Facebook that the man who filmed the scene has been arrested after Gorab asked security forces to arrest those responsible for taping the incident.

Also trending was a picture of a nurse wearing her full scrubs, sitting on the floor in the corner of the unit, in shock at what was happening.

Reports have stated that the nurse was fined for “not working during hard times.”

READ: Italy rejects Egypt’s decision to close Regeni murder case, vows to escalate