The Egyptian Ambulance Organization (EAO) is currently dealing with over 600 coronavirus (COVID-19) related cases on a daily basis, according to EAO Chief Mohamed Gad.
Gad added that the EAO has allocated 557 ambulances to coronavirus related cases.
He added that the EAO receives over 2,000 coronavirus related phone calls a day on the Emergency Number 123. These cases are directed to the hotline announced by the Ministry of Health to help with coronavirus related issues.
Following the initial point of contact with the hotline, call centres filter the calls and contact the ambulance service regarding any case that needs particular attention. Gad told Daily News Egypt that the organisation has representatives in the Ministry of Health’s control room to ease communications and ensure fast service for cases.
Gad also said that 93% of calls received by the organisation’s call centre are prank calls, with no identified law to punish those spammers.
Egypt boasts the Middle East and Africa’s largest ambulance fleet, with each vehicle worth about EGP 2.3m, Gad said.
“The organisation follows the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), and has 10 self-sensitised cars used only for high infectious cases, such as SARS and Ebola diseases. These cars are distributed at airports and land entrances at the southern and western borders,” he noted. “For COVID-19 cases, ambulance cars are sanitised after providing the service in accordance with the WHO protocol.”
Gad also said that ambulance workers have been trained on how to deal with patients and their relatives, and are highly qualified in dealing with different situations.
They have also received training on how to use the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) while dealing with suspected coronavirus cases, and how to sanitise themselves following contact. Those working on the frontlines of Egypt’s outbreak are rotated every 15 days.
“No COVID-19 cases have been recorded among ambulance workers in services related to the pandemic so far. But the organisation has four confirmed cases because a worker who contracted the infection while not at work transmitted the infection to three of his colleagues in the organisation,” Gad said.
Gad added, “We provide the service free of charge for urgent cases, but for non-urgent cases such as citizens heading to hospitals for scanning or radiology services, the recipient of the service should pay a fee.”
A EGP 125 fee goes to the state’s budget to preserve the service’s sustainability. Citizens receiving non-urgent care and who cannot afford the fee receive the service for free depending on an investigation into each case, according to Gad.