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Coronavirus: Egyptians show outrage over PPE shortfalls with online campaign

Since March, around 19 Egyptian doctors have died of Covid-19, four of them in the last 24 hours
People are taking to social media to call for support and protection for doctors on the frontlines (Screengrab/Twitter)

Hospital conditions and a shortage of protective equipment available to medical workers treating coronavirus patients in Egypt has sparked a barrage of criticism on social media. 

Online, people are using the hashtag #ادعم_اطباء_مصر (Support for Egypt’s doctors) and #متضامن_مع_اطباء_مصر# (Solidarity with Egypt’s doctors) to highlight the Egyptian government's failure to provide sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

Egypt has recorded over 17,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 760 deaths since the pandemic hit the country in March. However, there are concerns that the virus has spread far more widely through Egypt's population of 100 million.

The World Health Organisation has called for Egypt to expand its testing  in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Translation: That’s enough recklessness, protect the doctors who are fighting for all of us, and make equipment, testing, and space for those isolating. 

The hashtag comes as tens of Egyptian doctors at Al-Munira General Hospital in Cairo published a mass resignation letter on Facebook, saying that the lack of PPE and quarantine measures led to the death of their colleague Walid Yahya.

Health Minister Hala Zayed has also come under fire, accused of negligence and mismanaging the pandemic by failing to provide hospitals with sufficient stocks of equipment.

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate on Monday released a statement, condemning the lack of PPE.

"The syndicate is warning that the health system could completely collapse, leading to a catastrophe that would affect the entire country if the health ministry's negligence and lack of action towards medical staff is not rectified," the statement said.

"The Ministry of Health has repeatedly failed to do its duty to protect doctors, from refraining from early analyses to detect infections among members of medical teams."

Despite reported PPE shortfalls, Egypt has sent medical equipment to several countries, including China, the UK, the US and Italy.

Since March, around 19 Egyptian doctors have died of Covid-19, four of them in the last 24 hours, and another 350 doctors had tested positive for the virus.

Translation: The most stupid regime in the history of mankind went and sterilised the area near the pyramids which was already closed off and went and sent medical aid to China, Italy, America and Sudan...and in Egypt doctors are screaming…

The country has designated 17 hospitals to treat coronavirus patients, which reportedly reached their maximum capacity in early May.