Egypt's health minister should answer questions in House on rising coronavirus cases in Sohag: MPs

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 27 Apr 2021

MPs accused health ministry officials of misleading the public on the deteriorating situation in Sohag

Hala Zayed
Minister of Health Hala Zayed

A big number of MPs said on Tuesday that Minister of Egypt Hala Zayed should be summoned to parliament to answer questions on the rising number of coronavirus infections in the Upper Egypt governorate of Sohag.

Nancy Naiem, an MP representing the governorate of Sohag, accused health ministry officials of misleading the public on the coronavirus infections in Sohag.

“It is very bad and misleading that health ministry officials give incorrect numbers on the situation in Sohag, including the number of infections, the number of oxygen cylinders, and the number of quarantine hospitals,” said Naiem, adding that “there is a clear lack of medical supplies, hospital beds, and artificial ventilation equipment in Sohag.”

Atef Qaraban, another Sohag MP, said there is a state of panic among citizens in Sohag due to the alarming rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

“Citizens also complain of the lack of medical supplies and staff and poor health services offered in Sohag,” said Qaraban.

Ahmed Abdel-Salam Qoura, a third MP from Sohag, also warned of the rising volume of coronavirus infections and deaths on a wide scale in Sohag.

“Zayed should hurry up taking all the measures necessary to save the citizens of Sohag because the situation there is catastrophic due to the widespread coronavirus infections,” said Qoura, also complaining of “a lack of intensive care rooms, oxygen tubes, and other medical supplies necessary for treating coronavirus infections.”

Ahmed El-Aragawy, a member of the Health Committee, said the alarming rise in coronavirus cases in Sohag is largely due to citizens ignoring protective measures.

“Citizens in Sohag clearly ignore protective measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing,” said El-Aragawy.

El-Aragawy cited Mahmoud Fahmy, the head of the syndicate of doctors in Sohag, as asking the governor of Sohag on Saturday to impose a curfew in the governorate in a bid to contain the virus.

In a meeting held by the House’s Health Committee on Monday, MPs said Minister of Health Hala Zayed should be summoned to deliver a statement on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in Egypt in general and in Sohag governorate in particular.

In response, Head of the Health Committee Ashraf Hatem said, “members of the House’s General Committee — led by the speaker — have demanded that the Minister of Health come to parliament to address MPs on the problem of the coronavirus in Egypt in general and not only in Sohag because there is a real problem we have to face.”

Zayed said in a press conference on 25 April that “the situation in Sohag is not alarming.”

She, however, admitted that Sohag ranks number one in terms of coronavirus infections.

“The infections in Sohag come as part of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Zayed, noting that “the number of infections in Sohag is no less than 150 per day and that the Ministry of Health has taken all the measures necessary to contain the virus in the governorate.”

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