Egypt's prime minister discusses latest coronavirus developments with ministers

Zeinab El-Gundy , Tuesday 14 Apr 2020

File photo: Egypt’s Prime minister Mostafa Madbouli (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Tuesday held a meeting of the government committee on managing the coronavirus crisis to discuss the latest developments.

The meeting discussed the current government plan to curb the spread of the virus, as well as the latest data from different ministries.

The meeting was attended by the ministers of health, higher education, education, supply, finance, local development and information, in addition to number of other officials, including the president’s adviser for health affairs.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said the rate of positive cases in Egypt is 21 for every million people, while the death rate is two cases for every million.

She compared this with some European countries, where the rate of positive cases has reached 3,625 per million and the death rate is 374 per million.

The minister said that the ministry had formed a committee to establish guidelines for COVID-19 patients who are already suffering from other chronic diseases or cancer, or who are pregnant.

It will be made up of 14 members, including university professors, ministerial advisers and scientific researchers.

In previous statements, the ministry said that 90 percent of recorded coronavirus deaths were people who suffer from chronic diseases.

The committee is also preparing a programme to train doctors working at the quarantine, fever and chest hospitals to use an electronic platform for consultations.

Zayed added that the ministry is coordinating with foreign embassies in the country concerning the status of foreign coronavirus patients, providing daily reports about them, as well as repatriation, if required.

She also said that the health ministry had activated a special deaf-mute hotline service, with the coordination of the telecommunication ministry, to increase awareness about the pandemic.

Zayed also spoke about the first two delivery operations in the quarantine hospitals last week, and said that 240 mild cases were transferred to hostels.

She spoke about the important role of the ambulance authority in the crisis, revealing that ambulances had made nearly 4,000 trips nationwide so far to transfer suspected cases and positive cases to quarantine cases using more than 500 ambulances, led by 200 ambulance medics and drivers.

Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar put forward a suggestion to use university hospitals nationwide as quarantine hospitals.

According to the minister, university hospitals have 2,056 beds, including 297 intensive care unit beds, as well as 266 ventilators.

The minister added that public universities’ student hostels can be turned into quarantine hospitals if required in the 26 governorates and said that their capacity includes 38,589 rooms with 69,070 beds.

The student dorms at the universities of Cairo, Alexandria, Ain Shams, Assiut, Mansoura, Minya and Helwan have already been delegated as quarantine hospitals, if required. 

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