Egypt's Kasr El-Ainy Hospital designated as isolation hospital for Cairo University's staff

Menna Alaa El-Din , Saturday 18 Apr 2020

Qasr El-Aini
Qasr El-Aini hospital (Photo: AL-Ahram)

Egypt’s Kasr El-Ainy Hospital has been designated as an isolation hospital for the medical, teaching and administrative staff of Cairo University infected by coronavirus.

Cairo University President Mohamed Othman El-Khesht said on Saturday the hospital was selected upon the recommendation of the Higher Committee for the Combat of Coronavirus.

 El-Khesht said special incentives will be provided to the medical staff operating in the isolation hospital, setting bonuses ranging between EGP 1,000 and EGP 2,000 plus their monthly salaries. 

Workers at the hospital would receive their salaries with no deductions upon presidential orders, El-Khesht said, adding that the nursing staff who won’t be working in the hospital following the designation would be referred to Al-Manial Specialised University Hospital with their financial incentives intact.

El-Khesht said staff members suffering from chronic diseases or with children will be given a paid leave.

El-Khesht's statement came hours after the hospital was evacuated from all patients ahead of designating it an isolation hospital for Cairo University’s staff.

To date, Egypt has 10 functioning quarantine hospitals, with the higher education ministry designating 33 buildings to serve as isolation hospitals at the universities of Cairo, Alexandria, Ain Shams, Assiut, Mansoura, Minya, and Helwan in the first phase.

Mahmoud Alam El-Din, Cairo University spokesman, said in televised statements on Friday that patients have been referred to Al-Manial Specialised Hospital for treatment following the evacuation.

He refuted media reports on the detection of around 200 cases in the hospital, stressing that no cases were detected after "tests were carried out" for all patients at the hospital.

“Services that were previously offered at the hospital, like dialysis, will be referred to Cairo University’s affiliated King Fahd Unit, with other treatments offered at Al-Manial hospital,” he said.

Several healthcare facilities in Egypt have detected cases among their doctors and nurses in the past few days, triggering fears that the outbreak would hit the country’s overwhelmed healthcare sector.

Last week, Cairo’s El-Zaitoun Specialised Hospital was closed for 14 days after detecting coronavirus cases among the hospital’s medical staff.

An official infection toll at the hospital was not announced at the time, but media reports set the tally at around 23 cases among doctors, nurses and visitors.

Earlier in April, at least 17 doctors and nurses at Egypt’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Cairo University, which manages the country’s main cancer hospital.

Egypt’s Doctors syndicate said in earlier statements that three members of the syndicate have died from the virus and 43 have been infected, explaining that it is still in the tallying process and that the numbers announced were “likely to increase."

Egypt reported its highest daily increase of coronavirus cases on Friday at 171 new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,844.

The death toll now stands at 205, with nine new fatalities on Friday.  

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