Egypt’s Negelah quarantine hospital open despite two staff deaths from coronavirus: Deputy Manager

Sama Osama , Monday 27 Apr 2020

Al-Negelah hospital
El Negelah Central Hospital in Marsa Matrouh assigned to be a quarantine hospital for Wuhan coronavirus in Egypt (Photo: Egyptian ministry of health)

The Negelah quarantine hospital announced on Monday it is still operating normally, denying reports suggesting that the hospital has been isolated or that there is a coronavirus outbreak among the medical team following the death of two staff members this week.  

“The hospital continues to operate as a quarantine hospital," Deputy Manager of the Negelah hospital Mohamed Taleb told Ahram Online on Monday.

“We will also receive a kidney patient from Alamein city for dialysis, as there is no single case detected in our kidney unit.”

A senior nurse at the hospital, Sayed Mohamed El-Mohsenawy, 47, died on Monday from coronavirus complications.

Taleb told Ahram Online that El-Mohsenawy had diabetes which made him prone to coronavirus complications.

He praised El-Mohsenawy, saying he insisted on being on the front lines of the coronavirus battle since day one. 

Taleb explained that the late nurse contracted the virus after being in contact with a positive case. He asserted that infections among the hospital's team were the result of human error while treating positive cases.

On Saturday, the hospital announced the death of one of its workers, inventory keeper Nagi Saleh El-Garary, 51, who according to Taleb suffered from high blood pressure before contracting the virus.

“Only a few members of our team have contracted the virus, and that is normal when dealing with a highly infectious disease like coronavirus,” Taleb added.

“Many infected team members have recovered and will be returning to work shortly,” he added.

Taleb refused to disclose the number of positive cases in the hospital or among the team saying that he is not authorised to do so. He stressed that the numbers circulating in the media are only speculations.

The Negelah hospital in the Mediterranean governorate of Marsa Matrouh was the first hospital appropriated for isolating coronavirus cases in Egypt.

The hospital was used for quarantining Egyptians repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus, in early February.

Egypt’s first confirmed coronavirus case, a chinese national, was also admitted to the Negelah hospital in February and later recovered and was discharged.

On Monday, Egypt's health ministry reported 248 new coronavirus cases, a new daily record since the initial discovery of the virus in the country in mid-February, bringing the total number of infections to 4,782 nationwide.

Monday’s number was 16 cases higher than the previous highest single-day rise reported on Friday.

Twenty fatalities were also recorded on Monday, which is also the highest single-day coronavirus death toll, bringing the total number of coronavirus fatalities in the country to 337.  

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