General Secretary of the Supreme Council of University Hospitals Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will reopen within the next 24 or 48 hours, after being closed due to discovering several coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
He stated in a televised statement on Saturday that the institute is currently being sterilised and the whole working teams are undergoing medical examination.
At least 17 doctors and nurses at the Institute have tested positive for the coronavirus, Cairo University spokesperson Mahmoud Alam El-Din said on Saturday.
Alam El-Din added that an investigation has been opened to determine the source of infection at the NCI which is managed by Cairo University and acts as the country’s main cancer hospital.
Hatem Abou Al-Qasim, the Director of the NCI, announced the institute’s closure on Friday following the discovering of 15 coronavirus infections among its workers. In a televised interview, Abou Al-Qasim explained that they discovered the infections after the institute tested its medical staff.
Abou Al-Qasim added that the institute will be closed until Saturday, for disinfection and sterilisation. He said that the hospital had already lowered the number of patients to 60, as part of the preventive measures adopted to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
He said that the first infection at the institute, reported last Sunday, was a supervisor working in another hospital, with the hospital where the supervisor was working also reporting cases.
Alam El-Din said the NCI has taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of medical staff at the hospital. He added that Cairo University has appointed two new teams for infection control at the institute to manage the issue in the coming period.
A technical committee, formed by Cairo University President Mohamed Othman El-Khesht, will review the implemented medical criteria for infection control and for staff and patient safety at the NCI.
Saturday’s announcement comes one day after the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate had announced on Friday on its official Facebook page that a number of cases among medical professionals at the NCI were detected.
Until Friday which saw the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases and deaths, the total number of cases stood at 985 and deaths at 66.