Egyptian medical student volunteer dies fighting coronavirus

The Egyptian citizen Ashraf el-Gamal, father of the medical student Mohamed el-Gamal, the first volunteer doctor to die of coronavirus, has accused the Egyptian authorities of being late to treat him, indicating that officials did not even care to call him to offer condolences for the death of his son.

El-Gamal revealed that his son entered the Nile Hospital a few days ago after his condition deteriorated during house isolation at the beginning of this month after the intervention of the Secretary-General of the Medical Syndicate, Mona Mina. He continued that he had no way to save his son, because he came from a simple family and could not provide an alternative to him (i.e. pay the cost of his treatment), pointing out that the last thing his son told him was, “Dad, take me, I am dying.” He confirmed that his son had a graduation exam on July 25, but fate did not give him a chance to take it, and he died due to the delay in providing him with a bed in intensive care after his condition at home worsened.

He stressed that his son got married four months ago, his wife is two months pregnant, and that death has prevented him from seeing his child. He confirmed that the family has not received a call from any official from the Ministry of Health until now to offer condolences for the death of their son. He added that they have no demands, reckoning their son as a martyr of God, because he sacrificed himself as a volunteer at the Health Insurance Hospital in Nasr City, and did not wait for the final exams to finish his studies and went to defend his people, and helped the sick and infected people, then he caught the virus.

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate mourned the final year student Mohamed Ashraf el-Gamal in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Egypt for Science and Technology. The syndicate said that the medics are the true heroes in the face of coronavirus, and their sacrifices are still continuing, calling on God to forgive the martyr, have mercy on him, accommodate him in his spacious gardens, and inspire the family’s patience and solace.

Ahmed al-Gamal, the doctor’s brother, said that the family has completed procedures for burying his brother’s body in the family’s cemetery in Khanka, Qalyubia Governorate, north of Cairo, after following the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Health. He pointed out that his brother was the oldest and loves volunteering and does not hesitate for a moment. He added that his brother volunteered to work to fight corona at Nasr City Hospital, and upon picking up the infection he isolated himself at home for four days, and after his condition deteriorated he was transferred to intensive care in the Nile Hospital in Shubra Al-Khaimah where doctors tried to help his brother. Although he did not complete his university studies, Muhammad registered his name as a volunteer to work in quarantine hospitals that suffer from a shortage of medical personnel, causing his infection and then his death.

The concern is increasing between Egyptians due to the transmission of infection to medical staff in a number of hospitals, amid severe shortages of medical and preventive equipment needed to deal with this crisis, which led to the closure of major hospitals in several governorates.

Egyptian doctors say that the Egyptian Ministry of Health did not provide them with any necessary training to deal with the coronavirus crisis and that young doctors and volunteers do not have the necessary experience to protect themselves from the virus.

Doctors accuse the Egyptian government of pushing them to confront a virus without any preventive equipment, or the necessary training, but just sacrificing them to delude the people that the Egyptian regime has done its best to provide the necessary health care for the people.