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Official covid death rate among Egypt's doctors hits 500

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. [Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images]

Some 500 doctors have died of coronavirus in Egypt, the doctor's union has announced, quoting official figures.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has called on Egypt to declare a national state of mourning and take urgent measures to protect medics.

It has also called on the government to reveal the true figures of the number of people who are infected with COVID-19, and those who have died, and to give financial compensation to their families.

In a tweet, senior fellow at Carnegie Yezid Sayigh said that the ratio of doctors out of the national total of deaths in Egypt is six times higher than in the US.

In mid-April, the Egyptian Medical Association announced in a statement that 50 doctors had died in just two weeks and called on the Ministry of Health to speed up the vaccination programme.

Around the same time, there were urgent calls in Sohag Governorate to impose a curfew in the governorate after dozens of patients were being turned away from hospitals every day as infections soared.

READ: UAE sends food aid to Egypt

Over three days five doctors aged between 32 and 36 died of the virus.

Egypt has vaccinated far less of its citizens than its regional neighbours at around 0.2 per cent of its population compared to Saudi which has vaccinated roughly 19 per cent of its population and Morocco at 12 per cent.

"Health workers are the front line in the fight against COVID-19," the EIPR said in a statement yesterday.

"And they face the various risks of infection more than others. These risks include exposure to infection from patients, heavy workload for long hours, use of their personal protective equipment for extended periods of time, and facing violence and sometimes abuse by patients or their families without adequate protection."

Since the start of the pandemic, doctors have spoken out about the dilapidated health care system, which is in desperate need of reform, and the lack of PPE.

There was outrage as Egypt sent medical aid to its allies across the globe whilst medics at home had to buy their own masks.

Over the course of the pandemic doctors in Egypt have been arrested and harassed if they speak out about the danger of the covid crisis in the country or question the government's figures.

Many doctors and healthcare professionals have left Egypt over the past years in search of better working conditions.

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