Parallel to the State’s cautionary measures to protect against the rapid spread of COVID-19, and as the healthcare system shows signs of overburden, civil society all over Egypt is joining in the work as best as it could.
In Banha some 45km north of Cairo, the elders and young people of the village of Baradaa have initiated a civil committee to help handle the coronavirus crisis in their village. The committee aims at ensuring that cautionary measures are adequately implemented to protect from infection, helping infected cases, and raising awareness among villagers.
The committee created three sub-committees. The first was tasked with coordinating the efforts of the various working groups; the second with working on practical protective measures through distributing free face masks and ensuring all villagers wear them in public places, also handing treatment packages to those who need home treatment. The third committee’s responsibility was to act as a media office and to contact the authorities concerned in case the villagers face any obstacles or difficulties pertaining to COVID-19.
They also agreed to collect donations though al-Baradaa youth society to provide 200 packages of medicines for the needy—each package costs around EGP320.
For their part, Egypt’s churches are attempting to do their bit in the efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them, including the church of Abu-Siefein (St Mercurius) in the Cairo district of Hadayeq al-Qubba, and the church of Anba Antonios in Shubra, Cairo, have launched a medical service that recruited doctors from among the congregation to form a helpline for home-quarantined individuals or persons at risk from COVID-19. Lists of these doctors, their telephone numbers, and the hours they can be available for consultation, have been posted on social media groups of the church.
Until today, 4 June 2020, Egypt’s total recorded cases of COVID-19 had reached 28,615 in number; 7,350 among them recovered, and 1088 died. The highest number of daily cases was 1,536 recorded on 31 May, and 46 deaths. These numbers decreased during the following days, reaching 1,079 yesterday 3 June, and 36 deaths. It is not yet clear if these figures denote a downward trend in the number of cases, or if it is too soon to confirm that.
According to Minister of Health Hala Zayed, the seven governorate in Egypt that have recorded the highest number of cases have been: Cairo, Giza, Qalyubiya, Menoufiya, Fayoum, Alexandria, and Beheira.
The Ministry had created a WhatsApp application which it named “Sehhat Masr”, literally “Health of Egypt” to reply to visitors’ queries; give information and practical advice on COVID-19 cases, their detection and symptoms; treatment; quarantine; and hospital and home care. This in addition to the central helpline 105. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said that the application had seen more than a million visitors since its initiation at the end of April. Hotlines have also been set up for help in various governorates.
4 June 2020