In an Egyptian hospital, an entire intensive care unit full of Covid-19 patients passed away after the ward’s oxygen supply collapsed.
Harrowing video of shell-shocked nurses has gone viral online at the El Husseineya Central Hospital in the province of Ash Sharqia, adding light to the tragedy even as officials attempt to downplay what happened.
Video clips posted to social media show hospital workers desperately attempting to perform CPR on dying patients, while ringing through the ward can be heard the sounds of screaming and weeping.
Up to seven patients died after the oxygen levels of the ICU nearly dipped below two percent, according to sources, meaning there was neither adequate pressure nor air to survive.
It is the second such tragedy to hit a hospital in Egypt after the same fate was suffered by dangerously ill patients in the ICU at Zefta General Hospital.
Government incompetence and corruption, although officials dispute the charges, are blamed for the tragedy.
Health Minister Hala Zayed of Egypt reported that the unfortunate patients did not die because of a lack of oxygen and accused the Muslim Brotherhood of spreading rumors.
Dr Muhammad Sami Al-Najjar, director of the hospital, told local media the situation at the facility is “normal” and denied a lack of oxygen.
He believed that ICU patients died of natural causes, old age or other chronic illnesses.
Dr Mamdouh Gorab, the Governor of Ash Sharqia, said that only four patients had died, rather than the entire hospital.
Critics also speculated that only after many patients had already died did life-saving oxygen supplies reach the hospital.
A man whose 66-year-old aunt Fatima Al-Sayed Mohamed Ibrahim was among the patients being treated there uploaded a distressing video of chaos in the ward to social media.
Another heartbreaking Scene,
An Egyptian physician collapsed after all COVID-19 patients in the ICU had died due to lack of Oxygen that the PPE she's wearing aren't enough for the frontline health workers.#COVID19 #Egypt #مستشفى_الحسينيه #CovidVaccine #عزل_الحسينية pic.twitter.com/wxt17VRw2t
— Ahmed Shalaby (@AhmedShalaby51) January 3, 2021
One picture of a distraught nurse sitting on the floor in shock in full scrubs and PPE proved especially disturbing.
Unconfirmed reports have been released that the man who filmed the video has since been detained.
Reports also claimed that the angry nurse was fined for “not working during hard times.”
It is confirmed that Governor Gorab also sought retribution for the security guards at the hospital who allowed visitors to film inside the ward.
Over the course of the pandemic, Egypt has reported a total of 145,000 Covid-19 cases and almost 8,000 people have died.