File photo: Egypt made wearing facemasks in public places mandatory, with violators facing hefty fines
Egypt has been treating 5,484 of its confirmed coronavirus patients at home, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Wednesday, adding that 5,894 other cases have been sent to university hostels.
As of Tuesday, Egypt has registered a total of 27,536 coronavirus cases, including 1,052 fatalities and 6,827 recoveries.
Under the country's newly-adopted treatment protocol, mild and moderate COVID-19 patients are treated at home or at university hostels to free up beds for critical cases at overwhelmed state-run isolation hospitals.
Over 5,000 healthcare units across the country are delivering necessary medicines to patients who are receiving treatment at home and to those who have come in contact with confirmed cases, the minister said in a cabinet meeting held via video conference.
The home delivery of coronavirus drug packages was announced by the cabinet late last month.
The government had also announced that the number of hospitals designated to deal with coronavirus infections nationwide would rise to 376 from 340, while the number of laboratories carrying out tests is rising to 57 from 49
This brings the capacity of hospitals treating coronavirus patients to 35,152 beds, 3,539 intensive care beds and 2,218 ventilators, the government said.
The ministry has been working to increase the number of hospitals designated for treating the fast-spreading disease, particularly in Greater Cairo, which has the highest number of infections, Zayed said on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, the health ministry said the Egyptian capital Cairo has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, followed by Giza and Qalyoubiya governorates – the three regions that form Greater Cairo – with over 11,500 infections, or over 50 percent of the total cases.
Tourist destinations including Matrouh, South Sinai, New Valley, and the Red Sea governorates have recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 cases.