One more victim succumbed to the H1N1 virus on Saturday, marking the eighth death from the virus. The Ministry of Health disputes this number, claiming school student Mostafa Ayman Ezzat died of other causes. The Ministry of Health also specified specific conditions which private labs must meet in order to carry out the H1N1 test. The labs must conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, at a maximum cost of LE1200, said the ministry. Meanwhile, 25 schools and 73 classes are closed in Cairo and the surrounding governorates due to H1N1.
Following the death of the eighth victim, Dr. Abdel Rahman Shaheen, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, announced the death of a Cairo woman, 37, at the Abbassiya Fever Hospital, where she was treated for four days.
Meanwhile, in order to improve flu detection, the Ministry of Health is requiring private labs to conduct PCR tests, using certified equipment that is regularly inspected, said Dr. Nasr el-Sayed, assistant minister for prophylactic medicine. Labs are also required to use the forms provided by the ministry, to keep receipts from the tests, and to maintain quality control results for a year, added the ministry. Finally, all workers who use the PCR equipment must have a background in the field of molecular biology.
The committee formed by the Ministry of Health has also required that all positive test samples be kept for three days and made available to follow-up teams at the Ministry of Health, where they can be analyzed in the ministry’s central labs. Trained personnel will take the samples and transport them to the ministry, added el-Sayed.
In addition, the committee will make regular and surprise visits to the labs for follow-up purposes. Labs in violation of the specified stipulations may be banned from administering the H1N1 test, said Dr. Saad el-Maghrabi, head of the governorates sector of the Ministry of Health.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.