The Egyptian regime has announced that it has sent medical aid to Congo and Zambia shortly after the country’s medical union warned its own health care system was about to collapse.
A spokesman for the armed forces said that a military transport plane took off from East Cairo Air Force Base yesterday loaded with large quantities of medicine and medical supplies including disinfectant and protective gowns.
Last week doctors at Mounira General Hospital resigned on mass after their colleague Walid Yahya, 32, died of coronavirus after not being tested or given a space within the intensive care unit despite displaying covid-type symptoms.
Doctors have repeatedly criticised the government for failing to protect them by not providing adequate PPE and testing.
The medical union has said the Health Ministry is falling short of its duty to protect doctors despite having an obligation towards them since they are sacrificing themselves on the front line.
“It is imperative to provide them with the necessary protection and rapid medical intervention for those that contract the disease,” said the union.
As the covid crisis has unfolded in Egypt, Egyptians have looked on in disbelief as the regime has sent medical aid to its allies Italy, the UK and the US as softeners for arms deals, funding and commercial deals, in what has become known as medical mask diplomacy.
Egyptian authorities have come down heavily on doctors or commentators who criticise the government’s handling of coronavirus.
On 10 April police arrested ophthalmologist Hani Bakr after he criticised the government for sending medical masks to China and Italy whilst he could not find them himself in the hospital in which he worked.
During the coronavirus crisis at least two other doctors are still in detention on typical charges levelled at political detainees, including misusing social media and joining a terror group.
WHO has said that 11 per cent of infections in Egypt are healthcare workers, whilst the Medical Syndicate said 27 doctors have died of COVID-19.
Officially, 26,384 cases have been registered in Egypt.