Egyptian medical syndicate says 50 doctors have died from coronavirus, demands more protective measures

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jun 2020

A medical staff member wearing face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks in front of hospital in downtown Cairo, after Egypt's government made wearing masks mandatory in public places and public transport, in Cairo, Egypt May 31, 2020. REUTERS

Over 50 Egyptian physicians have passed away as a result of contracting COVID-19, the country’s Doctors Syndicate said on Tuesday, calling on authorities to increase provision of protective gear and to implement other precautions inside hospitals.

In a letter to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Health Minister Hala Zayed the syndicate called for the highest protection measures and infection control standards to be implemented at all triage and isolation hospitals.

It demanded suspected coronavirus cases be separated from other patients by creating different routes for them around the hospital's floors, in a bid to reduce infection transmission between patients and medical teams.

The syndicate also highlighted the importance of doubling patient reception rooms and allowing only one escort to accompany each patient in hospital in order to reduce crowding at reception departments.

The syndicate reiterated a previous request that the highest quality of protection gear be provided to medical staff.

Madbouly tasked the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement in May with providing hospitals with all necessary medical supplies and with providing medical staff with protective gear, in coordination with the health ministry.

The syndicate also asked that older doctors, those with chronic diseases, and those who are pregnant, be kept away from coronavirus patients, as those physicians are more vulnerable to infection.

Last month, Zayed said during a meeting with syndicate chairman Hussein Khairy that an increase in the pension age for physicians to 62 was being considered.

The Tuesday letter also stated a request that hospitals should get police security to help coronavirus patients enter the hospital without overcrowding.

The capacities of the laboratories that are conducting COVID-19 tests must be increased, the syndicate also urged, as there has been a significant delay in obtaining results in recent days.

A set of financial incentives has been implemented for medical staff as part of the government's efforts to support health care workers amid the pandemic.

The country has had a total of 35,444 coronavirus cases so far, including 1,271 fatalities.  

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