Egypt gears up to absorb surge in COVID-19 infections

Egypt’s Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy announced Saturday that measures are underway with Health and Population Minister Hala Zayed and governors to absorb the surge in coronavirus infections.

These include raising the efficiency of chest and fever hospitals across the country, he said, alongside taking all precautionary measures.

Shaarawy and Zayed held a video-conference meeting with the governors of Cairo, Giza, Qalyubia, Alexandria, Beheira, Menoufia, Kafr al-Sheikh, Sharkia, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut and Qena to discuss the Central Bank of Egypt’s action plan to support the health sector in those governorates.

The officials discussed how to swiftly implement the bank’s LE1.4 billion grant by purchasing and providing the required medical equipment or through raising the efficiency of the proposed hospitals to receive COVID-19 infections, especially chest hospitals, and providing ventilators and oxygen cylinders.

Zayed said an agreement has been reached with several factories to regularly provide hospitals with medical oxygen by increasing production lines and operating stalled factories.

This comes in addition to an agreement to provide oxygen tanks to support hospitals amid surging infections.

The governors reviewed what various hospitals need regarding medical equipment, oxygen tanks, CT scanners, and medical team manpower.

Egypt’s Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed 478 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s total number up to 121,089, Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed announced.

The ministry announced 21 deaths, bringing the country’s total COVID-19-related deaths to 6,898.

And 211 patients were discharged from quarantine at isolation hospitals, raising Egypt’s fully-recovered cases up to 104,710.

Egypt’s government imposed in March strict precautionary measures to limit the outbreak of coronavirus, which included setting curfews, banning large gatherings, and closing restaurants, theaters, and cinemas.

The measures also include a mask mandate that applies to mass transportation and any public indoor space.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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