EMS calls for releasing doctors arrested for criticising COVID-19 response

Adham Youssef
2 Min Read

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS) has demanded the release of doctors arrested due to their critical views over the Ministry of Health’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Egypt.

In a statement to General Prosecutor Hamada Al-Sawy, the EMS requested that the arrested doctors be released until the end of investigations. They also requested that a legal representative from the EMS be present during interrogations.

A number of doctors have been arrested since the start of the coronavirus crisis, after vocally criticising the state’s performance in countering the virus. Most of them criticised the shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) and PCR tests for doctors, a demand that that EMC itself has been repeatedly calling for.

The EMS has, on several occasions, requested official statements from the Ministry of Health regarding deaths and infections among doctors, but it has received no answer.

The latest figures of fatalities so far among Egypt’s doctors due to the virus has reached 71, with 454 confirmed infections, the EMS said last week.

The syndicate has also called for reduced crowding in reception areas at quarantine facilities, and fever and chest hospitals. This would be in addition to providing healthcare workers with needed PPE, whilst excusing elderly and pregnant medical workers from direct contact with coronavirus patients. The syndicate has also asked for those healthcare professionals with chronic illnesses to be excused.

Earlier in May, the Ministry of Health announced the allocation of 20 beds to healthcare sector workers at each quarantine hospital across the country. The move followed EMS calls for medical workers to be allocated these facilities in light of their frontline role in battling the coronavirus. The ministry also announced it will expand PCR tests and other tests for medical workers

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