The outbreak of the coronavirus in March in Egypt, in conjunction with the embargo and closure, has demonstrated the country’s need for a lot of attention to the health sector, which includes hospitals, doctors, and nurses. It has become clear to everyone that the health budget in Egypt is dwindling, government hospitals are deficient, their capabilities are weak, and the numbers of doctors and nurses are deficient, which has worsened with medical staff’s deaths due to the virus.
There has been a lot of talk about the need to address these tragic conditions in hospitals, which doctors face with bare chests, especially with the circulation of shocking video clips of patients sleeping on the pavements after the hospitals are full. Isolation hospitals and fever hospitals are full of patients. There is no longer an empty place or bed, especially in light of the collapse of the health sector structure and the lack of medical devices and staff capabilities.
The ruling regime was satisfied with cajoling the doctors and nurses and called them through its media apparatus the White Army of Egypt, with the daily casualties due to infection with the virus. With the decline in infections and deaths from coronavirus in Egypt during the past two months, many have been encouraged by the state’s seizing of the opportunity and repairing collapses in the health sector, but nothing has actually happened. The second wave of coronavirus began in Egypt, and the number of infections and deaths increased again in light of the tragic conditions of fever hospitals and isolation hospitals, but conditions are worse than before.
Inside the corridors of government hospitals, in the heart of them fever hospitals, there have been stories and tales of death, farewell, screams, and accusations of negligence. Between insufficient beds, a lack of supplies, and dirty wards full of pets that share patients’ places of treatment and sometimes their food, fever hospitals receive the second wave of coronavirus. According to the citizens’ constant complaints of neglect and lack of services in these hospitals, fever hospitals have become the last stop for many patients.
Although fever hospitals are considered the first line of defence against epidemics and infectious diseases, many of these hospitals have turned into places to spread epidemics and virus outbreaks due to the absence of any means of protection. News is circulating from time to time about the closure of some fever hospitals for sterilisation after the outbreak of infection.
According to the testimonies of many doctors and the Doctors Syndicate’s statements, the Ministry of Health does not provide any preventive measures for doctors and nurses and leaves them in the heart of the fire, struggling with death. The matter came to threatening hospital directors and doctors in the event that they spoke out about government negligence. Rather, the executive bodies asked managers and doctors to seek to collect donations for their hospitals. Patients do not find beds, devices, and doctors do not find masks and disinfectants. Rather, the Ministry of Health refuses to give them a free swab to check that they are not infected, according to many testimonies.
Doctors fall out
Doctors’ testimonies on social media showed the escalation of their anger due to the miserable conditions. This anger is fueled with the fall of doctors as victims along with governmental inaction. Doctors expressed their dissatisfaction with the request of those in charge of the Ministry of Health for them to strive to collect donations for their hospitals from business people and members of parliament in their residential areas. Doctors revealed in statements that during this month, fever hospitals have returned to a large extent with patients infected with coronavirus after the numbers decreased for a while.
Many specialists believe that the number of injuries in Egypt far exceeds the numbers announced by the Ministry of Health daily, as the government does not conduct swabs for citizens and is content to instruct them to isolate themselves when there are symptoms. They quoted as evidence for this the presence of queues in front of the emergency departments and receptions in hospitals, as it has become a common occurrence to find families of patients lying on the ground waiting for their relatives’ turn to detect and receive treatment. Observers explained that it is impossible to determine the number of daily infections with coronavirus in Egypt, as the state refuses to conduct analyses for citizens, and many citizens refuse to disclose his illness.