Minister of Health Hala Zayed has reviewed state plans to provide citizens with essential healthcare services during the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The plan looks to provide healthcare services and curb the infection inside healthcare institutions, whilst protecting medical workers.
The minister’s comments came during a meeting headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Thursday, in the presence of Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar, presidential adviser for health affairs Mohamed Awad Tag Eldin, and Bahaa El-Deen Zidan the head of Egyptian authority for unified drug procurement, medical supply and medical technology management.
Zayed explained the plan is based on six factors, with the first depending on each governorate’s activation of crisis management tools. There would need to be simplified mechanisms and protocols to regulate healthcare services provision, in coordination with the right treatment protocols for the virus. There would also need to be continuous evaluation to define points of strength and weakness in the system.
The minister added that the plan’s second factor depends on providing healthcare services at external clinics by increasing their numbers and reducing waiting times. Zayed also said that appointments will be booked through a designated call centre, with protocols set in place for dealing with suspected coronavirus cases.
The third factor looks to make inventories and redistribute manpower as needed, conduct training for medical staff on rapid diagnosis mechanisms, as well as sorting, infection control. It also seeks to reduce manpower inside healthcare institutions in every work shift and adopt a shift system with workers working for two weeks, then resting for two weeks.
The fourth factor seeks to adopt a training plan to train all medical workers in the basics of intensive care skills. They would also be provided with mobile applications to use if they suspect a coronavirus infection among colleagues.
The fifth factor will see awareness campaigns undertaken that will inform the public on how family medicine works and the procedures for booking appointments. This would also see the Ministry of Health ensure the availability of medical supplies at all healthcare institutions.
Zayed highlighted that sixth factor in the ministry’s plan will see it activate the “Egypt Health” application. As part of this, an electronic system will be created that links units and centres with hospitals, with the application allowing for remote consulting and diagnostic clinics to take place.
Zayed said that her ministry is working to double the number of workers manning the 105 hotline next week, with the number set to rise from 200 to 400 workers.
She also reviewed a draft proposal outlining Egypt’s measures to coexist with the coronavirus. The draft proposal would see the gradual return to normal life, whilst also keeping in place the government’s precautionary measures.
During the meeting, Madbouly called for a speedy completion to the government plan to coexist with coronavirus with details to be announced soon. He stressed the significance of setting penalties for violators of the government measures.
Madbouly also said that the all specifications for face masks to be provided to all citizens will be circulated to factories in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
During the meeting, Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar said that his ministry is working to increase face mask production at military factories. He added that production is expected to reach around 4.5 million face masks daily this month.