Six Egyptian doctors die after contracting Covid-19
Six Egyptian doctors have died after contracting Covid-19, the Egyptian Medical Syndicate announced, bringing up the total official number of medical staff who have lost their lives to the virus in the country to 671.
The doctors were identified as Osama Mahmou Ahmed Abu al-Saoud, Mustafa Mahdi, Ibrahim Mukhlis, Hussein Mohammed Sami, Nabil Ibrahim Sabri and Essam Hamza al-Maghazi.
The actual number of doctors who have died as a result of the virus was likely to be higher, the syndicate said, adding that some doctors were not included in the count at their families' request.
The Egyptian health ministry has recorded some of the infection rates since the pandemic began. Officials believe the numbers are likely to be higher due to the absence of widespread testing in Egypt.
On 17 February, 2,071 new cases were confirmed, along with 61 further deaths, bringing up the total number of recorded infections to 465,423, and the overall number of coronavirus-related deaths to 23,632.
Egypt has received nearly 68 million doses of Covid vaccines so far - enough to provide full vaccination to just over 30% of its 102.3 million population.
The spread of the new Omicron variant in Egypt came at a time when health workers across the country were struggling with meagre wages, worn-out healthcare infrastructure and massive staff shortages - and some of the highest death counts among medical staff in the world.
After two years battling the Covid-19 crisis, Medical Unions and civil society organisations have demanded that healthcare workers were remunerated to the same extent as the military and police.
The request was rejected by the ministry of finance, on the grounds that the government lacked the necessary fiscal resources.