If I suspect that I/my child/husband/wife contracted COVID-19, what should I do?

  • The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has set up a hotline (dial 105 or 15335) for questions regarding the novel Coronavirus and requests for medical assistance throughout Egypt.

I share the apartment with someone who I suspect have contracted COVID-19. What can I do?

  • You should call the Ministry of Health helpline (105 or 15335) to seek advice and/or report their case to them. Meanwhile, you are advised to keep the entire house as aerated as possible (keep your windows open and turn on the fans if possible).
  • If possible, the person with suspected COVID-19 should stay in a separate room and unnecessary contact should be avoided. Try to keep a distance of at least 1 meter at all times.
  • If masks are available at home, whenever in close contact, both the person with suspected COVID-19 and the other person should wear masks.
  • When removing the mask, use the hind laces to avoid contaminating the hands and dispose of it hygienically by putting it in a solid waste basket that has a cover. If you are using a cloth mask please wash it after each day of use.
  • If no masks are available, the patient can use tissue paper to cover his/her face every time they need to cough or sneeze. The patient needs to place the tissue in front of his/ her nose and mouth.
  • Get rid of the tissue paper in the same way as the masks in by putting it in a solid waste basket that has a cover.
  • Ensure washing your hands regularly with soap and water. If you have alcohol-based sanitizers, these can be also used.
  • Ensure regular disinfection of the floors, hard surfaces used for eating and any other surfaces you frequently touch with your hand with water, soap or disinfectants.
  • The person with suspected COVID-19 can leave isolation after a minimum of 10 days if the last 3 days have been without fever.

What are the special measures/precautions that I should take if I tested positive for COVID-19?

  •  The national public health measures of the COVID-19 pandemic response apply to citizens, asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants all alike.
  • A person with mild symptoms is recommended to self-isolate for at least 10 days. If the last 3 days are without fever isolation can end.
  • A person with severe symptoms should seek care at the nearest MOHP hospital. Call 105 or 15335 to know where you can go. MOHP offers free hospital care for severe COVID-19.
  • Anyone that has been in contact with a person confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 should be vigilant for symptoms and if such appear should self-isolate for 10 days.
  • If you face any particular problems or changes, please report to UNHCR Infoline or medical partners.

I have been refused services by a public health facility because I lost my UNHCR card/because it is expired. What can I do?

  • Public health facilities such as Ministry of Health Primary healthcare facilities do not check UNHCR cards to offer primary health care services and the same applies for Ministry of Health emergency room services. In case you face an emergency that requires hospitalization and you have an expired UNHCR card/have lost your card, UNHCR referral partner Save the Children will support you to access hospitalization care through its contracted hospitals network. Save the Children can be reached through their medical emergency hotline 01280770146 or 012 80769456. It is operating 24/7.

Does caritas or any organization provide sanitizers or hygiene kits to help us stay protected?

  • Partners are currently not distributing sanitizers. If partners start offering this service, you will be informed.
  • In the meantime, you are advised to have soap and floor disinfectants available at your household.

Where can people go to get tested if they'd like to seek assurance that they haven't contracted the virus? And at what cost?

  • The Ministry of Health and Population has devoted a hotline (105 or 15335) for any person residing in Egypt including asylum- seekers and refugees to seek advice on COVID-19. If any person of concern suspects s/he has contracted the virus or has flu symptoms which they suspect that can be related to COVID-19.
  • Ministry of Health and Population has also designated 28 hospitals to offer assessment and care in relation to COVID-19. The assessment and care for COVID-19 is free of charge. Some pre-admission investigations not directly related to COVID-19 might however require user fee contribution.

If someone's suffering from a serious medical condition, do they need to renew their cards to be able to access health services?

  • You shall always contact UNHCR and book an appointment if you realize that your asylum seeker or refugee card or your asylum certificate has expired.
  • Even if any of these documents have expired the following services are available through UNHCR implementing healthcare partners (Caritas, Refuge Egypt and Save the Children):
    • Primary healthcare
    • Treatment of chronic diseases
    • Primary mental healthcare
    • Reproductive healthcare for complicated pregnancies
    • Emergencies and other referral care services for critical chronic conditions.
  • If you are not a holder of any of these cards, valid or expired, you will be able to access preventive and curative primary health care services at public primary health care facilities and life-saving emergency medical care in public hospitals.

Why doesn't UNHCR contract private service providers for corona check-ups/treatment given the known challenges that refugees experience in public hospitals?

  • The COVID-19 response is state-led, and Ministry of Health and Population facilities are providing services equally to citizens, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and any person residing in Egypt. UNHCR is to abide by the state’s response plan and ensure equal access to it.
  • In addition, private facilities often do not have the needed standard for COVID-19 testing and treatment.