US journalist quarantined in Egypt reveals his experience in hospital during Coronavirus outbreak

A US journalist in Egypt explained issues he faced due to the language barrier after being quarantined

At a time when almost all the countries are trying to limit the spread of COVID-19 by following several restrictions, an American explained what he witnessed in Egypt after 12 members of a cruise team tested positive including him and taken to a hospital near Alexandria along with them.

He is the managing editor of a popular news platform, TechRadar, Matt Swider. He went with his friends on a cruise on Egypt's Nile River and 12 crew members tested positive for the new Coronavirus.

The experience in Egypt

When Swider was shopping in a port near Luxor and preparing to board a flight back to US, 33 people including him tested positive for the virus. Later a military aeroplane took them to a hospital near Alexandria.

In a message to Live Science editor Jeanna Bryner, he explained that the hospital employees are friendly "especially as I've become a social media superstar in Egypt with my positive tweets about the doctors." But he mentioned that the "facilities are woefully under-prepared and the language barrier makes it worse to ask for basic needs."

Matt Swider
Matt Swider in Egypt Twitter/ @mattswider

Dealing with Coronavirus outbreak

In the middle of a pandemic, which affected almost all the continents and more than 100 countries, Swider noticed that the Egypt hospital staff gave him a mask and a bed, where he reported feeling exhausted but did not have symptoms for Novel Coronavirus.

Later, it became an issue for Swider to communicate with hospital staffs. He took it to Twitter for translation as he ran out of toilet paper and couldn't figure out how to communicate with healthcare staff. With limited network accessibility, it became an issue for Swider to use the internet. He just had spotty access through his phone in the hospital.

He said that his medical evacuation provided by insurance asked for the hospital record number and lab reports which were extremely challenging as he has been facing an issue while communicating. He stated, "It's not like there's someone I can easily talk to in reception to get that through. And conveying a complex ask to someone who doesn't speak fluent English is next to impossible when you're having trouble asking for a towel and soap (we only have toilet paper and hand sanitizer) after six days of not showering. Asking for medical records is even harder."

Later, he and four others tested negative for the new Coronavirus, reported The Washington Post. Even though as per Swider, the hospital authority repeatedly told him that he would soon be moved to a hotel for further quarantine, but it never happened.

He said, "I've heard I'm leaving for a hotel... in 30 minutes. And then an hour. And then tomorrow because 'the roads are unsafe' – read into that what you will. I'm still here at this very moment wondering when I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel."

On March 11, he posted on Twitter stating that, "Good news! I tested NEGATIVE for #CoronaVirus in #Egypt and have no symptoms. This pic is 2 days ago but I remain here. I [Love] Egypt, the doctors & THE PEOPLE, but I miss my family & friendsDisappointed but relieved [crying emoji]. Please, Minister of Health, send me home. RT to let me go home! #SendMattSwiderHome"

Coronavirus outbreak effect

While Swider's situation remains uncertain, COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly within the US. Health officials as well as WHO asked people to avoid crowds, large gatherings and close contact with others if at all possible, as well as wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and seek a doctor's advice if anyone feels sick.

Meanwhile, a projection shared with US Congress revealed that between 70 and 150 million Americans could eventually be infected with the Novel Coronavirus. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib made these remarks during a hearing of the House of Representatives with members of the President's coronavirus task force while the number of infected people hit 1,663.

Even though the availability of Coronavirus tests became an issue in the US, Stanford and Mayo Clinic both have developed their own tests. A Stanford Health Care laboratory has created a Coronavirus or COVID-19 test which is being used on Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children's Health patients who are suspected of being affected by the Novel Coronavirus. Later, Mayo Clinic also announced on Thursday that they have developed a test capable of detecting the virus Coronavirus, which will take 24 hours to produce the report.

Related topics : Coronavirus