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The State of Egypt’s Hospital Supplies in Pandemic Fight

Filming on his phone inside Egypt’s Hussainiya hospital, Ahmed Mamdouh pans around the ward to show beds occupied by motionless bodies. “All the people are dead,” he says. Mamdouh’s own relative had just died, for which he blames a lack of medical oxygen. In another video, a screaming woman at Zeftah hospital in Gharbiyeh governorate demands nurses help resuscitate a relative. In a third, a man in Damanhour, in the Nile delta, gasps for air, glassy-eyed as he holds an oxygen mask in his hand. “There is a lack of oxygen,” he says, extending an invitation for local health minister to come and witness the problem. “Join us, minister.” The footage has led to widespread concern in Egypt that there is a shortage of medical oxygen for Covid-19 patients as the country grapples with a rapid rise in infections and deaths. The government has denied any suggestion of a shortage, looking to reassure citizens during a pandemic that has been marked by a lack of accurate information – including about the level of vital supplies.