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The New Arab

Egypt hospital shuts following coronavirus outbreak among staff

Covid-19 has killed eight Egyptian doctors, according to official figures [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 May, 2020

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Alexandria's Raquda Hospital has closed for 14 days after becoming the latest Egyptian facility to witness an alarming spread of coronavirus among its staff.
The Raquda private hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, has closed for 14 days after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases that spread among its staff.

Covid-19 patients were transferred to the nearby Al-Ajami hospital, while staff were told to quarantine at home for the next two weeks.

According to official figures from the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, more than 113 doctors have been infected with the virus, while eight doctors have died from Covid-19. 

Comment: Sisi uses coronavirus to enshrine new powers at the expense of his people

The hospital is the latest medical facility in the country to be shuttered due to a virus outbreak among staff, suggesting the true extent of its spread is larger than the government has said.

A hospital in Egypt's Dakahlia Governorate closed temporarily last month after 21 doctors, nurses and radiologists tested positive.

Several days earlier, at least 15 medics in Egypt's main cancer hospital were quarantined after testing positive for the virus.
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Egypt has confirmed 6,813 cases of coronavirus and 436 fatalities from Covid-19.

Anyone who publicly questions the official figures has been met with the regime's wrath.

In March, a journalist working for British daily The Guardian was forced to leave the country after she cited a Canadian scientific study that suggested Egypt was likely to have many more coronavirus cases than was officially being reported.

Read more: Coronavirus pandemic deals heavy blow to Egypt's working poor

Journalist Ruth Michaelson was advised last week by Western diplomats that Egypt's security services wanted her out of the country immediately, The Guardian said.

Michaelson's 15 March report cited a study from University of Toronto infectious disease specialists, which estimated an outbreak size of 19,310 cases in Egypt, around ten times more than the official figurese at the time.


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