The Cairo Doctors’ Syndicate has called on health authorities to designate a special isolation hospital for coronavirus patients among medical staff in the capital to help quickly deal with positive cases.
“The syndicate follows with great concern the increase in positive cases among medical staff at Cairo hospitals and the lack of a special hospital for the isolation of positive cases among doctors, nurses, and [other] medical staff members,” the syndicate said in a statement late on Monday.
The medical syndicate urged the health ministry to take a “swift decision” on the matter, saying that hospital staff are highly in danger.
It said a special hospital for infected medical staff is a “pressing need at the current time” to help reassure medical teams, ensure a swift handling of infected doctors and alleviate mental and physical pressure on them.
The designated facility will also help “save financial and physical resources of the ambulance authority and the healthcare system [in general] and protect the society from an outbreak of infection,” it added.
Egypt has 9,746 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 533 fatalities.
The health ministry has not provided a tally of doctors who have been infected or died from the flu-like virus.
The doctors’ syndicate, however, has said that nine physicians have died as of Friday, and the latest tally of infections among medical staff it provided in late April was 90. The nurses' syndicate said separately that six nurses have so far died.
Last month, the syndicate criticised steps taken by healthcare authorities to identify coronavirus cases among medical staff and warned against merely relying on rapid tests when examining medical staff working at quarantine hospitals, saying their results have not proved accurate.
The syndicate cited WHO’s advice that molecular testing of respiratory tract samples, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, is the recommended method for the identification and laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 cases.
Many hospital staff members have taken to social media to complain from reluctance by hospital managements to conduct necessary tests on them despite having come into contact with coronavirus patients.
A health ministry spokesman said last week that only 12 percent of infected medical staff members contracted the virus while on duty at hospitals, while the rest got infected outside medical facilities.