Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar has directed for 25 university isolation hospitals to reopen to receive patients requiring treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Abdel Ghaffar’s directives came during his chairing of an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council of University Hospitals. The hospitals that will reopen have a combined capacity of 2,377 beds, in addition to 523 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and 418 ventilators.
The council has also agreed to prepare isolation units for paediatric cases, the Ministry of Higher Education announced on Thursday.
The university hospitals will also apply the treatment protocol prepared by the Supreme Committee for Respiratory Viruses, in coordination with the Scientific Committee affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Population.
The Supreme Council of University Hospitals has also asserted that university hospitals will be equipped with medicines, supplies, and personal protection equipment (PPE) in advance. The hospitals will receive patients from the waiting list.
During the meeting, Abdel Ghaffar highlighted the need for doctors working in isolation units at all hospitals to share their experiences, and for information on cases to be developed. This would take place in addition to coordinating with the Ministry of Health and Population to update the number of COVID-19 infections and the available medical staff.
He also promised to solve any obstacles related to medical staff receiving compensation, and to follow up on any humanitarian cases that require intervention.
The minister stressed that the participation of medical staff in combating the global health crisis is a national duty.