Egypt has ramped up efforts to fight the coronavirus, ordering manufacturers to channel medical protective equipment to public hospitals and announcing 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($64 million) in extra funding for its health services.
Egypt is not alone in feeling the strain of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 46,000 people worldwide. From Japan to Italy, Spain, Britain and the United States, health experts have accused governments of initially downplaying the pandemic or failing to take swift enough action.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised Egypt’s efforts but has also said they can be scaled up in some areas.
Jean Jabbour, head of the WHO’s Egypt office, said the government’s response had so far been prompt. There are 2,000 beds allocated for COVID-19 treatment, half of which are in intensive care units and 600 with ventilators, while 400,000 test kits have been delivered, his office told Reuters.
“This is ready to increase whenever there is a surge in the number of cases of COVID-19,” Jabbour said.
There are about 50 coronavirus testing centers, up from one at the start of the outbreak, and eight isolation and treatment hospitals. Medical staff have received the promise of a modest bonus from the president.
For the moment, officials say they are able to contain the virus by testing, tracing, isolation and treatment, along with restrictive measures including a nighttime curfew and the closure of mosques, schools and tourist sites.
Middle East Online