A student with COVID-19 dies after being forced to attend a college exam

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Massive anger swept over social networking sites in Egypt after a student at the Faculty of Physical Therapy at Sinai University died. The college administration forced him to attend the exam despite his infection with the coronavirus. The death of a student at Sinai University, Youssef Fayyad, sparked outrage and condemnation among the bloggers who explained that Fayyad was forced to attend the exam despite a suspected coronavirus infection. Egyptians accused the officials of ignoring the spread of HIV infections and the continued work of the official sectors, especially the education sector, without considering the health of students, despite the presence of cases among them.

A hashtag entitled Youssef Fayyad died was trending on Twitter in Egypt, and the tag received thousands of angry tweets and the people demanded accountability for those responsible for his death. The tweeters circulated messages between the student Fayyad and the college dean, telling her that his doctor suspected that he had been infected with the coronavirus. Still, she insisted that he attend the exam, as long as he did not have proof that he was infected.

Others said that the rejection of Yusef’s request came in contrast to a practical exam at the College of Pharmacy which was postponed for students going on one of the trips to Dahab, according to a publication circulated on student pages. It is noteworthy that citizens in Egypt are suffering from the inability to conduct a medical swab (virus test) that proves their infection with the virus, in addition to the high price of the test and the limited number of centres.

Youssef Fayyad

Through Youssef Fayyad’s hashtag, activists and parents called for the closure of schools and universities, stressing that the cases of infection are widespread and that the official figures announced about the number of people with corona are much less than the reality. Egyptians called for cancelling the school year or not limiting students’ absence from schools and universities, which would affect their evaluation and educational future. Others demanded the application of the research submission system instead of attending the exams. This system was implemented in the second semester of the last academic year, but the government recently cancelled it.

Many circulated a video clip of one of the pioneers of the communication sites, Khaled Gad. He attacked the education sector’s intransigence in dealing with the virus and forcing students to attend exams. Gad explained that the government forces students to attend exams, as happened in the case of Youssef Fayyad, without taking into account even the presence of any medical evidence of infection. Through his video clip, he accused the health sector of neglecting corona cases and dealing with them lightly, calling on the government to take action regarding the spread of the epidemic, as the cases are increasing dramatically.

On the other hand, several social media users explained that those who spoke about corona infections in the educational sector were referred to the investigation and that the system is ignoring the spread of the epidemic under the pretext of preserving the economy. Maney published statements by the Minister of Health. She said that education is more important than the individual’s health, considering that her statements and actions are the reason for this catastrophic situation. Parents saw that their children’s lives are more important than studies and exams, stressing that their children will not go to schools and universities in light of the spread of the virus and government neglect.

Not to close

Schools and universities are witnessing high rates of absence. Students are not attending for fear of infection with the coronavirus, as the rate of infections and deaths has increased recently. There have been many demands during the past days and appeals to cancel classes in light of the fierce attack from the second wave of the coronavirus, but the Minister of Education rejected such demands.

The Minister of Education confirmed that he would not cancel the school year. He directed his speech to those he called fearful of illness by resorting to home education. Al-Sisi talked at the end of November about the outbreak of the second wave of the coronavirus, saying that we do not want to reach the stage of closure again, especially with the increase in the number of cases again.