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Egyptians outraged over medical aid to Italy as supplies dwindle at home

When Egypt's health minister visited Italy with a shipment of medical supplies, many citizens protested that trade and political ties were not worth the cost.
Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed inspects moored river boats along the coast of the Nile in the southern city of Luxor on March 8, 2020. - Egypt's health ministry said the 45 detected cases would be quarantined even though 11 of them had tested negative in follow-up tests. The "A Sara" docked in Luxor days after authorities were alerted that a foreign tourist who had previously disembarked had contracted the virus and infected others onboard. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed sparked controversy on social media and among politicians and analysts after visiting Italy to provide medical aid to the European country amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Zayed arrived in Italy April 5 following instructions by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, "offering solidarity and support to Italy during this ordeal,” according to a statement released by the Health Ministry. She and a delegation of the Egyptian armed forces brought two military aircraft carrying medical supplies such as protective gloves and disinfection materials.

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