The Cairo Medical Syndicate (CMS) has called for a two-week full lockdown during the last days of Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holiday to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The syndicate’s call comes as the Ministry of Health reported 510 new cases and 18 new fatalities on Sunday evening. The latest figures bring Egypt’s total number of confirmed cases to 12,229 and 630 deaths. A total of 3,172 cases have recovered and discharged from hospital.
The CMS held a virtual conference on Sunday to announce urgent demands to limit the virus outbreak and protect healthcare workers.
CMS treasurer Dr Sana Fouad said the full lockdown will help in curbing the outbreak and avoid further infections. Fouad added that the two weeks covering the last days of Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, tend not to witness a heavy work load for employees.
Fouad also called for a quarantine hospital to be allocated for medical staff working in hospitals affiliated with the Ministry of Health in Cairo, due to their frontline work against the virus.
The CMS’ suggestion for a comprehensive nationwide lockdown to curb the spread has also seen support from the Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS). Earlier last week, EMS Head Dr Hussein Khairy and CMS Head Shereen Ghaleb submitted a suggestion to the government to impose a full two week lockdown in Egypt.
Dr Ehab Al-Taher, EMS Secretary-General, told Daily News Egypt that the suggestion is “individual” and “did not represent the EMS council”.
EMS council member Ibrahim El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt on Sunday that he agrees with the suggestion for the full two week lockdown.
El-Zayat added that it is difficult to count the exact number of infections among healthcare workers, because the Health Ministry does not share this data with the EMS.
He said that the EMS has assigned a team to monitor infections and deaths among doctors in coordination with hospitals, quarantine hospitals and EMS branches in governorates. A Google spreadsheet has been created carrying the names of all doctors across Egypt who have been infected with the coronavirus.
“Although not the final total, the number of infections from the data we have collected shows more than 220 doctors have been infected with COVID-19, with 11 deaths,” El-Zayat added.
El-Zayat said that some doctors refuse to announce their infection and they simply self-isolate due to there not being enough beds at quarantine hospitals.
He revealed that the EMS will hold a press conference this coming Thursday to address the situation of doctors in the fight against the coronavirus. The new infection control instructions outlined by the Ministry of Health for medical staff in contact with coronavirus cases will also be addressed.
“We have to protect medical workers by providing them with preventive supplies, conducting PCR tests to medical workers in contact with positive cases and quarantining positive cases. If we did not do that, we would lose them. Who then would treat COVID-19 patients?” El-Zayat added.
The EMS announced on Thursday the details of two more doctors to have died from the coronavirus. The doctors were identified as Dr Yasser Othman, a chest consultant at Al Maamoura Chest Hospital in Alexandria, and Dr Karem Mahmoud, Head of the Internal Medicine Department, at Luxor International Hospital.
The EMS also announced on Thursday the death of Abdel Nasser Hassan, Head of the General Physical Therapy Syndicate in Luxor.