Egypt to see upcoming COVID-19 peak: health official

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Wed, 27 May 2020 - 02:40 GMT

FILE - A man walks past the closed al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo which has been closed along with other places of worship to stop the spread of coronavirus in Egypt – Reuters

FILE - A man walks past the closed al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo which has been closed along with other places of worship to stop the spread of coronavirus in Egypt – Reuters

CAIRO – 27 May 2020: The next period will see a peak of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Egypt, an assistant health minister said, denying any shortage in ventilators or intensive care beds.

Egypt still uses the malaria drug, chloroquine, in treating coronavirus patients, according to a health protocol nationwide supervised by a scientific committee, Mohamed Fawzy told dmc channel. This comes although the World Health Organization in May announced dropping hydroxychloroquine, a derivative of chloroquine, from its experimental coronavirus treatments due to safety concerns.

Fawzy said the quarantine hospitals nationwide still have vacant places for new cases and that the medical and preventive requirements are available in large quantities.

The Egyptian state has adopted a new strategy to face the novel coronavirus, including involving 320 hospitals to test the coronavirus (COVID-19) suspected cases, which allows citizens to head to the nearest hospital in case they showed any symptoms, the Cabinet’s spokesman said earlier.

Suspected cases will be screened by simple tests like complete blood counts (CBC) and chest X-ray, Saad said, then they will be asked to self-isolate at home in case they do not show symptoms, or will be tested for coronavirus in case they develop severe symptoms.

Saad denied any shortage in ventilators, saying that Egypt has 4,000 ventilators while only less than 50 patients currently need them and about 250 patients are in the intensive care units.

Fawzy’s remarks about a peak in coronavirus infections echo the higher education minister’s statements that Egypt will expectedly record 20,000 coronavirus cases by the end of May and that rise will continue throughout the first week of June.

Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, however, suggests that the number of cases will likely start to become lower starting June 7th, and can decrease to reach zero after July 17th, after reaching around 37,000 cases.

The Health Ministry said in its daily briefing on Tuesday that 789 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Egypt recently, bringing the total number of cases to 18,756.

The ministry also reported 14 deaths due to the novel virus, bringing the total number to 797.

Also, the test results of 5,606 people turned from positive to negative, the ministry said, including 5,027 people who totally recovered. It added that 127 patients left hospitals.

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