The Ministry of Health announced 702 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and 19 new deaths on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 17,967 confirmed cases, 783 fatalities, and 4,900 recoveries.
Monday’s death rate from the virus is lower than that recorded on Sunday, when the highest daily average of 29 deaths was reported.
In a statement released on Sunday, Minister of Health Hala Zayed revealed that 19,578 rapid tests and 8,913 PCR tests have been conducted on healthcare workers across Egypt so far.
The minister added that 291 coronavirus cases have been confirmed among medical workers at fever and chest hospitals, including 69 doctors. She added that 11 doctors have died from the virus since the pandemic began.
Zayed said, “All coronavirus-infected healthcare workers are receiving the required treatment at hospitals.”
She added that her ministry is taking “all precautionary measures to protect medical workers from being infected”.
Meanwhile, Zayed also said that since the beginning of the outbreak in Egypt, the Ministry of Health has been keen to allocate 20-bed capacity floors at quarantine hospitals for infected medical staff.
She noted that the infection control teams at hospitals undertake daily reviews of protective supplies stocks to ensure that medical workers have what they need. She added that “a large amount of preventive supplies have been distributed to hospitals, including more than 247,000 N95 face masks and 37,000 medical face masks as well as gloves and protective medical sits.”
Zayed has yet to mention the steps that have been taken to prepare a quarantine hospital for medical staff working with coronavirus patients, a demand that the Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS) has insisted on. However, the Ministry of Health’s Central Unit for Service Providers Affairs said late on Sunday that the ministry is, in fact, preparing one for medical workers.
Earlier on Sunday, the EMS said that the Ministry of Health “should take full responsibility for the increase in deaths and infections among doctors because of its negligence and failure to protect healthcare workers.”
The syndicate revealed that a total of 19 doctors across Egypt have died from the virus so far, while 350 others have been infected.
It said that the Ministry of Health has failed to protect doctors due to its refusal to conduct early tests to detect new cases.
The syndicate also criticised the ministry for “its intransigence in providing PCR tests to doctors treating coronavirus patients, and its inaction to quickly provide quarantine bays for infected doctors.”
On the other hand, Zayed urged citizens who are presenting with symptoms of the virus to head to the nearest hospital of the 320 that have been allocated to coronavirus treatment.
Last week, the Ministry of Health announced that all 320 of the country’s general and central hospitals would offer testing to people showing symptoms of the coronavirus.