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ICU across Egypt full of covid patients as winter approaches

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]

Medical professionals in Egypt have told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that intensive care departments across Egypt are at full capacity amid the country's covid crisis.

Several hospitals in the Delta and Upper Egypt governorate have increased the number of beds to try and meet growing demand.

Private hospitals agreed to set a maximum amount they would charge patients so they could play a part in admitting infected patients, however according to the sources, they have increased costs.

Egypt's Health Ministry is currently in turmoil after it was announced that several health officials were being investigated for bribery and corruption worth 35 million Egyptian pounds ($2.2 million).

Following news of their arrest Health Minister Hala Zayed had a heart attack, and she is currently being investigated about how much she knew.

READ: Egypt places female political prisoner in cell with criminals, ENHR reports

In the meantime, the Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar is also in charge of the Health Ministry, putting into question the importance the government has placed on tackling coronavirus.

The sources hold the government responsible for the shortage of beds, and strain this will put on oxygen supplies and medicine, pointing out that the government has failed to respond effectively to warnings about the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

They have also accused the government of not providing funds for tests, despite requests to do so, and of not enforcing preventative measures like mask wearing.

At the end of September Egypt's medical union announced that 600 doctors had died since the start of the pandemic.

The Egyptian government has been under heavy criticism since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for corruption and failing to invest in its own healthcare system which is on the verge of collapse.

Several health care professionals have been arrested and detained for questioning the government's official death toll which is thought to be roughly 13 times higher than what is announced.

Egypt ranks fifth worldwide for underreporting coronavirus.

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