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Egypt - Covid-19

Egypt sends US medical aid despite Washington's threats to pull military aid

Egyptian men wait outside a food bank, after movement restrictions imposed to fight coronavirus crippled already precarious livelihoods
Egyptian men wait outside a food bank, after movement restrictions imposed to fight coronavirus crippled already precarious livelihoods AFP
2 min

A plane full of medical supplies to combat the Covid-19 pandemic has been sent to the United States by Egypt, a move that a US official said showed support to President Donald Trump, according to the Washington Post daily.

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Anaesthesia, body bags, masks, testing swabs and antibiotics were sent via military plane as Egypt surpassed South Africa for the number of cases on the African continent.

Some 3,032 people have contracted the highly contagious coronavirus, according to the Egyptian health ministry on Wednesday.

Shortages in medical supplies and food staples has plagued Egypt, and price gouging on masks and protective gear has increased since the beginning of the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation indicated that 13 percent of health workers in Egypt are infected, and a number of hospitals have had to close, due to the high rate of staff infection.

The health supply shipment is meant to appease American lawmakers after two Democratic Senators, Patrick Leahy and Chris Van Hollen, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to withhold $300 million in military assistance to Egypt after US citizen Mustafa Kassem died in prison in January, suffering a heart attack after going on a hunger strike.

Although Egypt has been repeatedly called out by the United Nations, rights organisations and even the US for its human rights abuses, Trump continues to court Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sissi, who he has called his ‘favourite dictator.

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