Egypt’s first COVID-19 isolation facility closed, as quarantines spread nationwide

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

The Ministry of Health announced, on Sunday, the closure of an isolation facility for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, identified as the Negelah isolation hospital.

The closure comes following the ministry’s opening of quarantine departments at some fever hospitals across the country to treat COVID-19 cases.

The Negelah hospital in Matrouh was the first medical facility designated to isolate and treat coronavirus infections in Egypt. The hospital will be sterilised and reopened for normal use.  

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,265 new confirmed coronavirus cases bringing the country’s total to 65,188 cases. A total of 81 new fatalities were also reported, bringing the total death toll to 2,789. A total of 17,539 cases have recovered and were discharged from hospitals. 

Meanwhile, Eva Pharma, the Egypt agent for US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has been authorised to manufacture and distribute the Remdesivir drug in Egypt. The drug will be used to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus, according to Dr Ali Auf, Head of the General Division of Drug Traders at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC).

Egypt started using Remdesivir as part of the treatment protocol for critical coronavirus patients in isolation hospitals.

In statements to Al-Mehwar channel on Saturday evening, Auf added that Gilead will supply the US and Europe with its production of the drug. At the same time, it has granted the drug’s manufacturing rights to Egypt, Pakistan, and India.

He explained that Remdesivir was initially used to treat patients with the Ebola virus. Following the emergence of the coronavirus, the drug underwent clinical trials for the virus, which showed promising results for medium and severe cases. Remdesivir has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Auf said that the first 1,100 doses for treating current patients are already available, but its use will be expanded in governmental hospitals as a first stage.

The drug is sold in the US at about $4,500, with Egypt expecting to sell it for about EGP 4,000, he said.

Eva Pharma announced that the drug has been available at hospitals across Egypt since Wednesday, with sufficient amounts of the drug available for treating critical cases. Remdesivir will be available only at hospitals, rather than in pharmacies as well, and will be available for patients so long as they take the medication under strict medical monitoring. 

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