Egyptian doctors are increasingly at odds with their own government on the country’s coronavirus outbreak, pleading for protections and a full lockdown even as the authorities urge people to learn to “coexist” with Covid-19.
A wave of government propaganda has hailed healthcare workers as the “white army”, a reference to their white coats. But some of them told the Guardian they lacked protective equipment and were struggling to get vital tests for themselves and patients.
“The situation is deteriorating. The nurses and doctors are very scared because we are not protected,” said a nurse at a hospital in Imbaba, Giza. “We are treated the same way patients are treated. If we complain of symptoms, we are asked to go home and quarantine, but we are not allowed to be tested.”
Egypt has registered 14,229 cases of Covid-19 and 680 deaths. Some 745 new cases were recorded on 20 May, the highest one-day total so far. About 13% of those infected are medical professionals, according to the World Health Organization.