The Egyptian Prime Minister had stated in a statement that the rise in numbers of COVID-19 deaths was due to the absence and “unpunctuality of some doctors”.
The Egyptian Medical Syndicate on Tuesday decried remarks by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly who attributed the recent spike in coronavirus deaths in the country to the absence of medical staff.
The statement has triggered furious reactions by doctors and the Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS), which argued that the real reason for the spike in cases and fatalities is the shortage of medical equipment and intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the country.
The board of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate has slammed in a statement the comments of the Prime Minister in which he blamed them for “unpunctuality of some doctors” for the rise in number of deaths in the COVID-19 infected cases”.
The statement added that the comments of the Prime Minister ignored the real causes of the escalating number of deaths of coronavirus infected cases, including lack of potentials, medical supplies, and even the personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical staff, as well as the severe deficit in the ICU beds.
The statement that has been recently issued by the board of the Egyptian medical syndicate said that “since the beginning of the pandemic doctors give the most wonderful example of sacrifice, including operation in difficult conditions and under great pressures in their workplaces, amid lack of personal protective equipment in some hospitals, and exposition to constant assaults without issuance of a law to criminalize such assaults, and in light of administrative chaos and prevention of due vacations”.
The statement added that such comments would fuel anger against doctors, increase the assaults launched by patients and their relatives against medical personnel, and infiltrate frustration to all doctors. It also stated that such comments are considered additional incitement of citizens against doctors instead of issuing a law to criminalize assaults on doctors.
The statement called upon the Prime Minister to apologize for doctors and back out of such comments in order to prevent spread of sedition, confirming that all doctors will continue to perform their historical mission for the sake of God and the homeland and to protect and support the honorable Egyptian people and their loved ones.
The statement concluded by stating that the number of deaths among doctors reached nearly 100 doctors, with more than three thousand infections.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many medical professionals have voiced their opinions online, mainly complaining about the lack of PPE in the country and the lack of government funding for the overstretched health care sector.
In response, authorities have detained at least five doctors and accused them of spreading false news or joining a terror group, two of the most commonly used charges against political dissidents.
Two of the doctors, according to the union, have been arrested from their private clinics.
Egypt, home to 100 million people, has so far recorded 58,141 cases of coronavirus and 2,365 deaths – the highest death toll in the Arab world.
A study by the Egyptian polling think tank Baseera, published Monday, estimated that more than 600,000 people have contracted Covid-19. Only 12 percent of those who reported symptoms have been hospitalised, according to the survey, explaining the discrepancy between official numbers and the actual spread of the disease.