The total number of fatalities among Egypt’s doctors from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased to 137, according to Dr Ibrahim El-Zayat, a council member at the Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS).
El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt on Saturday that the number of infections among doctors is “hard to count”. In June, the EMS had announced that over 3,000 doctors have been infected by the virus so far.
The new deaths among doctors include: Dr Rizk Ahmed Abdullah, Dr Wesam El-Deeb, Dr Mohamed Azazi, Dr Baha El-Din Ahmed, Dr Abdullah Mohamed, Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman, Dr Mohamed Yosry, and Dr Mostafa El-Fekky.
Dr Salwa Farahat, the head of the COVID-19 isolation department at El Matareya Central Hospital in Daqahleya, died last week from coronavirus-related complications at Mansoura Chest Hospital.
Also last week, Dr Ayman El-Desouky, Professor at Mansoura University’s Faculty of Medicine, contracted the virus and died.
Since the first case was reported in Egypt in February this year, healthcare workers have been on the frontline in the battle against the novel coronavirus.
The EMS has been calling for greater protection of Egypt’s healthcare professionals, demanding that they be provided with the required PPE. The syndicate has also called for PCR testing to be provided for healthcare professionals, whilst also excusing elderly and pregnant medical workers from direct contact with coronavirus patients
The syndicate also has called for the release of a number of doctors who have been arrested in recent months, following their vocal criticism of the state’s performance in countering the virus. Most of them have taken issue with the shortage of PPE and PCR tests available for doctors.
On Friday, the Ministry of Health registered 703 new confirmed coronavirus cases, the biggest decrease in Egypt’s daily new case count since 18 May when 535 cases were counted.
With the total confirmed cases of 86,474 on Friday, Egypt has now surpassed China, where the novel coronavirus broke out, in terms of the total number of confirmed cases. Egypt ranks 24th globally in the terms of total COVID-19 cases, while China ranked 26th with total cases of 83,644.
Despite the decline in daily counts of infections and deaths, fears have increased over a second wave of the virus to hit the country of 100 million citizens.
In May, the Ministry of Health allocated 20 beds at each quarantine hospital across the country to healthcare workers who have been infected with the virus. It also pledged to expand PCR tests and other related tests for medical workers.
Egypt’s government lifted its three-month night curfew on 27 June, reopening restaurants, coffee shops, sports clubs, cinemas, theatres, and some cultural and social venues. These would be able to open with a maximum capacity of 25% and precautionary measures still in place, with the health and safety of employees and visitors a priority.