More than two-in-three of Egypt's coronavirus ICUs in use, as the country's re-opens

More than two-in-three of Egypt's coronavirus ICUs in use, as the country's re-opens
Egypt has reported 56,809 coronavirus cases and is set to begin easing restrictions on Saturday.
2 min read
24 June, 2020
Egypt has reported 56,809 cases of the novel coronavirus [Getty]
Intensive care units (ICUs) in Egypt's designated coronavirus treatment facilities are 71 percent occupied and 59 percent in hospitals nationwide, the country's health minister said on Tuesday, as the country prepares to re-open.

Speaking during a video conference with the government committee overseeing Egypt's pandemic response, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that the use of ventilators is currently at 23 percent.

The minister's report to the committee came ahead of an easing of lockdown restrictions on Saturday, when a night-time curfew that had been in force since 25 March will be lifted.

Egypt will also reopen restaurants, cafes, and places of worship but social distancing measures will remain in place.

Cairo's coronavirus response has come under stinging criticism from healthcare workers, who say their safety has been put at risk as they work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to a recent report by Amnesty International, whistleblowers have voiced alarm over hospital and work conditions including a shortage of personal protective equipment [PPE], inadequate infection control training, a lack of testing for healthworkers, and limited access to life-saving treatment.

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate, the country's largest doctor's union, also penned a stinging open letter to the health ministry, accusing the government of negligence "tantamount to death through a dereliction of duty" over the lack of protection for doctors during the Covid-19 crisis.

The syndicate said that at least 68 frontline healthcare workers are confirmed to have died from Covid-19, including several who were denied treatment as the coronavirus isolation hospitals were full.

Many doctors have resigned or gone on strike in protest, saying they have been forced to treat Covid-19 patients without PPE.

In response, MPs and pro-regime media have called for striking doctors to be sacked, blaming their complaints on a Muslim Brotherhood-orchestrated conspiracy.

Pro-regime social media accounts have also accused the doctors of treason and issued death threats against them.

Egypt has recorded 56,809 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Monday, including 2,278 fatalities.

As of Monday, Egypt has reported 56,809 coronavirus cases, including 2,278 deaths.

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