The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

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The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

An article has appeared in The Guardian highly critical of Egypt’s efforts to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s not the first time this paper has taken Egypt to task....and we can expect some backlash. There was a huge row back in March leading to the expulsion of some Guardian journalists....the same Ruth Michaelson responsible for this latest attack. Presumably she’s now writing from the safety of London :lol:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... michaelson

The latest article reads :


“A Cairo billboard that reads: ‘Thank you, white army.’
5568.jpg
Egyptian doctors are increasingly at odds with their own government on the country’s coronavirus outbreak, pleading for protections and a full lockdown even as the authorities urge people to learn to “coexist” with Covid-19.

A wave of government propaganda has hailed healthcare workers as the “white army”, a reference to their white coats. But some of them told the Guardian they lacked protective equipment and were struggling to get avital tests for themselves and patients.

“The situation is deteriorating. The nurses and doctors are very scared because we are not protected,” said a nurse at a hospital in Imbaba, Giza. “We are treated the same way patients are treated. If we complain of symptoms, we are asked to go home and quarantine, but we are not allowed to be tested.”


In early May a ministry of health official told a parliamentary committee that quarantine hospitals were full, and doctors complained on social media of having to turn infected people away.

Egypt has registered 14,229 cases of Covid-19 and 680 deaths. Some 745 new cases were recorded on 20 May, the highest one-day total so far. About 13% of those infected are medical professionals, according to the World Health Organization.

“Some doctors say those who had symptoms earlier are much luckier than us, as if you got Covid-19 earlier, you got a hospital place,” said one medical worker at a Giza hospital. “If you get it nowadays, you won’t get a place.”

He blamed the state for the spread of Covid-19, pointing to a profound shortage of protective equipment. “It’s a disaster. Catastrophic,” he said. “Many doctors say they [the government] don’t care about us.”


He deplored the Egyptian government’s boast of supplying PPE to Italy, America and the UK while doctors in Egypt faced shortages. “Things got much worse recently. Doctors working on Covid-19 seeking to get PCR tests [tests to see whether they are infected] for themselves find their requests denied many times.

“Hospitals are collapsing. They have to turn away people who come in with symptoms, but these people have no other options as all places are full.”

Egypt’s health ministry spokesman, Khaled Megahed, was not available when contacted for comment.

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate – a representative body for healthcare workers that is partially state-controlled – has repeatedly demanded that the government change course and demanded more PCR tests.

The syndicate head, Hussein Khairy, and Cairo chapter head Sherine Ghaleb wrote to the prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, in early May demanding a full lockdown for the last two weeks of the Ramadan holy month to deal a “swift knockout” to the virus, warning of a surge in cases if no further action was taken. The government declined to impose a lockdown, and health committee members stressed the need to protect Egypt’s fragile economy by “coexisting with the virus” while maintaining social distancing measures.

Officials imposed a nighttime curfew in late March, then it reduced it by two hours at the end of April. Shopping malls, banks and mass transit systems stayed open even as case numbers grew. Government officials have declared a new 5pm to 6am curfew during the upcoming six-day Eid al-Fitr break, including the temporary closure of shops and beaches.

While health ministry and cabinet officials have repeatedly spoken of the need to “coexist” with the virus, Madbouly has declared that the country will “return to normal” after the Eid holiday. Citizens must wear face masks in public, he said, but the government will now consider reopening restaurants, gyms and places of worship.

Multiple Egyptian officials have blamed citizens for the spread of the virus despite the lax restrictions, including the head of the cabinet’s crisis management unit, who lamented the “lack of commitment from some citizens”.

The country has 1.6 hospital beds per 1,000 people, and recently accepted a $2.8bn loan from the International Monetary Fund to aid an economy where a third of citizens live below the poverty line, unable to abstain from daily low-paid work.

The rise in cases has been accompanied by confusion about the number of PCR tests conducted in Egypt, which in late April was using less than half its testing capacity according to the WHO, which implored Egypt to scale up its efforts.

An Egyptian presidential adviser for health claimed in early May that the country had conducted “over a million” tests, a figure later retracted by the State Information Service, which said “more than 105,000 tests” had been carried out. The British embassy in Cairo announced this week that Southampton company Primer Design provided 40,000 PCR test kits to Egypt, while the health ministry said 320 additional public hospitals would be able to test for and examine suspected cases.

“We do not want to be called the ‘white army’,” said a doctor at the Hussein University hospital in Cairo. “We want the same social protection and financial rights that the army and officials have. Believe me, doctors do not want songs or titles – we just want to be able to do our job safely.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... oronavirus
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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by Who2 »

Years ago I remember having pointed out to me a huge new factory on the North Road outside Cairo.
Turns out it's AstraZenica a British Pharmaceutical company.
And when the Oxford scientists come up with a CV19 vaccine, I'm sure their Egypt outlet will start production
soon after.

Obviously Egyptian 'rumor mongers have been maliciously spreading rumors as I spotted this quote:


"AstraZenica Egypt appeals to all parties supporting the associate Mai Yaqout to investigate the accuracy of what is being circulated regarding the company and its employees and avoid any misinformation that may offend the company .
Finally, the company reserves its legal right to protect its reputation, the reputation of its employees, and its history in Egypt.

So Egypt all is not lost, when this pandemic reaches its height over there,
even without distorted Government figures.... 8)
"Neo Desperandum"
https://www.astrazeneca.com/country-sites/egypt.html
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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

I’m not quite sure what an article- from 2 years ago - concerning an AstraZeneca employee’s medical treatment has to do with Egypt’s fight against COVID-19. :tk

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by Who2 »

Never mind, try this one that slipped by during lockdown... 8)

https://aawsat.com/home/article/2251006 ... 8%B5%D8%B1

Ps: If that doesn't rock your boat try this, from AL Monitor.
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/conten ... end%20list
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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

No surprises there. Al Monitor is more left wing than The Guardian.

There are clearly some unhappy bunnies in the Egyptian medical community. Needless to say, they have to relay any criticism through non- Egyptian outlets and don a cloak of anonymity.

To do otherwise risks a fate far worse than COVID-19 :lol:

The specific condemnation of the govt by the doctors syndicate has received widespread coverage abroad but I’ve yet to see it repeated in govt mouthpieces such as Al Ahram. There have been a few reports indicative of a general dissatisfaction with govt policies and the many deaths of health professionals.

It would be difficult for the govt to arrest or otherwise silence the country’s entire medical profession so I await with interest any response! Maybe the worm is about to turn.....

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by A-Four »

Sunday 10th May 2020. - it was reported on this day that out of all the staff who were tested for COVID 19, at Cairo's Al Zahraa University Hospital, 40% proved positive of the virus.

This was reported in ALL Egyptian newspapers on that day, and incidentally, the major headline appeared prominently on the front page of El Ahram, as it did on other organ.

I can only imagine what's happening in Luxor, but I do have friends who live in Esnna and Asswan, and the news there is not good. People on here are asking when other ex-pats will return,.....good God.

Oh, did I mention that the Egyptian government have instructed ALL mosques to open next week,......I'm sure that will encourage all to visit soon.

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

A-Four wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:03 pm
Sunday 10th May 2020. - it was reported on this day that out of all the staff who were tested for COVID 19, at Cairo's Al Zahraa University Hospital, 40% proved positive of the virus.

This was reported in ALL Egyptian newspapers on that day, and incidentally, the major headline appeared prominently on the front page of El Ahram, as it did on other organ.
Indeed it did.

What you fail to mention is that the Al Ahram, and other, local articles came with the usual disclaimer absolving the government of blame...and indeed lauding their efforts to support medical staff.

“A health ministry spokesman said last week that only 12 percent of infected medical staff members contracted the virus while on duty at hospitals, while the rest got infected outside medical facilities.

A set of financial incentives has been adopted recently for Egyptian medical staff as part of the government's efforts to support members of the healthcare sector amid the coronavirus crisis.”

All media in Egypt has to be very circumspect in reporting news and overt criticism of the government is not tolerated.
“Oh, did I mention that the Egyptian government have instructed ALL mosques to open next week,......I'm sure that will encourage all to visit soon.”
Really??

I don’t think so! Where DO you get your “news” from these days. It used to be the local wine bar but surely that’s shut! :wi :wi :wi :wi :lol:

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by carrie »

A government spokesman has announced that the government will meet early next week to discuss the re opening of mosques.

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

:br
carrie wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:07 am
A government spokesman has announced that the government will meet early next week to discuss the re opening of mosques.
Thank you Carrie.

Not quite an instruction for “...ALL mosques to open next week” then. :lol:

A number of countries - Turkey for example - have plans to allow mosques to reopen soon......subject to strict conditions regarding social distancing. How Egypt will manage this is anyone’s guess and I wouldn’t be very confident of worshippers adhering to any rules.

I doubt the fact that mosques are open or closed bears very heavily on anyone’s decision whether or not to visit Egypt. They know they will be entering a country with a laissez faire attitude to health and safety....and not only regarding Coronavirus.

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by A-Four »

carrie wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:07 am
A government spokesman has announced that the government will meet early next week to discuss the re opening of mosques.

Tuesday 26th May 2020 - Minister of Endowmentts Mohamed Mokthtar Gomaa WILL begin Saturday to distribute 820,000 metres of prayer rugs to ALL directorates across Egypt.

Yer don't lay carpet in a flat that yer don't intend to rent/sell.

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by newcastle »

Reopening mosques for prayers to be only determined by cabinet's committee: Egypt's Awqf Min.
By: Egypt Today staff Wed, May. 27, 2020

CAIRO – 27 May 2020: The Ministry of Awqaf said no date has so far been set to reopen mosques for prayers, noting that the matter is to be determined by the cabinet’s coronavirus crisis management committee.

According to a statement released by the Ministry on Tuesday, the ministry said it did not and will not disclose any information about the date of reopening mosques to worshippers.

The entire matter will be under consideration by the cabinet’s coronavirus crisis management committee during its meeting early next week, it said.

https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/88 ... by-cabinet



There is nothing representing the Ministry of Awqaf but the official statements published on its official website or that of the cabinet, the statement read.

Well they need to consult A-Four who, like Mystic Meg, can foretell the future. It would save them their deliberations :lol:

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Re: The Guardian slams Egypt’s response to COVID-19

Post by Who2 »

Well MT has something to crow about now, mind you that's not all that encouraging being honest... 8)

https://www.financialmirror.com/2020/05 ... n-holiday/
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