Egypt sees huge drop in ventilator use after passing coronavirus peak

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Sun, 19 Jul 2020 - 11:03 GMT

FILE - Citizens wearing masks in Cairo, Egypt - Reuters

FILE - Citizens wearing masks in Cairo, Egypt - Reuters

CAIRO – 19 July 2020: Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed on Saturday said only 20 percent of ventilators nationwide has been in use over the last week, down from 97 percent, as the ministry announced passing coronavirus peak.

 

In a telephone interview with Al Hekaya program on MBC Masr, Zayed said details about a probable second wave cannot be known for the moment, affirming that the ministry will keep on facing the novel pandemic until a vaccine is developed.

 

Zayed said Egypt has asked for 30 million doses of the new Oxford vaccine developed by Oxford University.

 

In June, the Egyptian Drug Authority announced signing a deal with AstraZeneca to supply the country with the Oxford University's vaccine for COVID-19 without disclosing the number of doses or the delivery date.
 

Ahmed Salman, the only Egyptian researcher in the team working on the vaccine at Oxford University, said in a phone-in with Al-Hekaya that the vaccine is being experimented on a larger number of humans.
 

Salman explained that the vaccine consists of a version of coronavirus that infects chimpanzees. The virus ability to reproduce is disabled before injected into humans so as the body becomes ready to destroy COVID-19 when infected.

 

Earlier this month, Noha Essam, advisor to the Health Minister told Egypt Today that the quarantine hospitals in Egypt currently make researches on drugs including the Ebola drug Remdesivir, as well as other drugs originally developed to treat parasite infections or Hepatitis C, to treat coronavirus patients.

 

Essam’s remarks came shortly before the European Commission announced granting conditional approval for antiviral Remdesivir for coronavirus treatment. Egypt has already started to produce the drug.

The antiparasitic drug Ivermectin is under research in Egypt and is expected to show good results, Essam said, adding that the ministry will present the results of the research within a month.

Essam, however, warned against taking any coronavirus drugs without medical consultation, affirming that all remedies or vaccines thought to be effective with coronavirus are still under research.

On the other side, the Egyptian Health Ministry has excluded Japan’s Favipiravir drug sold under the brand name Avigan from studies.

Concerning convalescent plasma therapy, which Egypt has already used with many cases, Essam said it has shown significant and strong results but it does not work with all cases.

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