At least 17 hospital staff members have tested positive for coronavirus at Egypt’s Kasr El-Aini Hospital, a Cairo University official said, one day after the hospital was designated an isolation hospital for university medical, teaching and administrative staff infected by the virus.
Hala Salah Eldin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, which manages the hospital, said in TV statements on the privately-owned MBC Masr channel that at least 17 tested positive for the virus after 900 swab tests were done.
She added that not all detected cases were from the hospital’s medical staff. “Some [of the cases] are not from the nursing staff or doctors. This means we have reached a peak of the community spread,” she said.
On Friday, the prominent hospital was designated an isolation hospital for Cairo University staff upon the recommendation of the Higher Committee for Combating Coronavirus.
Mahmoud Alam El-Din, Cairo University spokesman, said in televised statements Friday that patients have been referred to Al-Manial Specialised Hospital for treatment following the evacuation of Kasr El-Aini Hospital.
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" on all patients at the hospital.
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-Zeitoun 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, 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 coronavirus, according to Cairo University, which manages the country’s main cancer hospital.