Zewail City's Innovative Role Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic


Zewail City Innovation Role Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Zewail City Innovation Role Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has spread around the world, affecting almost all aspects of life, be it social, economic, or public health. Zewail City continues to play an effective role towards the community; using innovation to combat Coronavirus consequences, with professors and researchers working on various axes, including health and education. A brief look at what has been accomplished is listed below, in addition to other research activities in the same context that are currently being developed and evaluated.


1- First Prototype

This resuscitator design was conceived to target respiratory assistance outside the ICU. In emergency situations, a medical professional has to use an Ambu bag manually. The design provides automation for this task with an easy to use interface. The proposed design would free the medical professionals to do other more pressing tasks. The device would provide much needed help when demand for ICU units leads to queueing. It will help reduce suffering and alleviate pressure on the health system.


The built prototype can:

  • Control the tidal volume (how much air each breath contains).
  • Control the number of breaths per minute.
  • Control respiration to expiration ratio.
  • Measure airway pressure and provide alarms when it exceeds safe limits.


After the first prototype was successfully produced, a new version was developed to have the following features:

  • The ability to easily install and remove the Ambu bag.
  • Emergency manual operation.
  • The ability to use electric power from a standard outlet or a battery or a car charger.
  • Easy to carry and mobile.


2- Second Prototype (Venta-Max)

Since COVID-19 pandemic started to cause a significant increase in the number of pneumonia and fatal respiratory diseases, there would be a high demand for mechanical ventilators in Egypt. That was an impactful motive for a group of Zewail City students and professors to construct and present a fully functional ventilator prototype.


Ventilator Venta-Max: design features:

  • It is easily assembled using available resources and components in the Egyptian market.
  • It is designed to work on the mandatory mode which is most needed in COVID-19 severe cases (Assuming that the lungs are not able to exhale or inhale independently).
  • It has a mechanical pressure controller.
  • It can work with electricity and can be connected to solar panels in places with limited resources i.e. temporary field hospitals and remote locations.
  • There is a possibility of continuous development to add alarm systems, automate reactions, and improve the human interface.



Medical Examination Cabin for Coronavirus Potential Patients

After the spread of Coronavirus, medical staff in all hospitals and practices currently face the serious problem of high risk exposure to potential patients. Therefore, a safe and clean environment should be provided for the "White Army" while practicing their profession in these challenging circumstances since the outbreak of the virus. Zewail City researchers took the initiative to initially design and fabricate an insulated safe cabin to solve this pressing issue. 

The cabin has the following features and specifications:

1. An isolated cabin allowing medical staff to perform examinations and sampling without direct contact with patients, which reduces the chances of infection with the virus. Moreover, this cabin is considered as an alternate solution to the precautionary measures that all countries are finding difficult to maintain.

2. The cabin is equipped with all the features that would ensure a safe and comfortable environment for the doctors staying for long hours inside the cabin. These features are; an overhead unit consisting of an air pumping pump, air cooling circuit, a high-efficiency air particle filter (HEPA Filter), as well as an ultraviolet sterilizing unit. Moreover, the cabin is also equipped with an audio system for doctor-patient communication.

The Cabin Components:

1. Closed chamber with positive pressure:

  • The body is made of an aluminum frame.
  • The side parts are made of acid resistant Acrylic sheets /Teflon sheets.
  • It contains two holes equipped with a pair of acid-resistant gloves.
  • The cabin floor is made of Teflon sheets covered with stainless steel sheet.


2. Upper ceiling unit consists of the following:

  • Cooling unit.
  • High-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA Filter).
  • Ventilation pump.



Artificial Intelligence System to Classify COVID-19 Cases

One of the problems facing the medical sector in Egypt and many other countries with limited hospitalization resources is the lack of a low cost and fast way to identify COVID-19 infections that require hospital admission. For this purpose, X-ray images have been proven effective in diagnosing COVID-19 cases that require hospital admission. To speed up the diagnosis process and spare the time of the already in shortage medical staff, a research team at Zewail City developed a decision support system to help specialists in the Egyptian medical sector to reach an accurate classification of the infected cases.  The developed system uses Artificial Intelligence Technique to detect and assess lung infection caused by COVID-19 from X-ray images. The system was trained and tested on hundreds of X-ray images of COVID-19 patients. The aforementioned research team at Zewail City created a website, where doctors can upload the X-ray images of the patients and receive the AI system evaluation in seconds.



Reusable Respirator with Exhalation Valve

Zewail City proposes the development of a reusable high-performance respirator for healthcare professionals and high-risk populations using local materials and manufacturing technologies. The respirator design will feature an exhalation valve to improve comfort during extended use. We will also investigate the development of high-performance spun fiber as novel filter media to further increase the filtration efficiency.





Sterilization and Disinfectant Materials

Due to the increasing prevalence of Coronavirus and the ease of contamination of various surfaces with the droplets of patients carrying the virus, it has become urgent and necessary to provide disinfectants of various kinds in sufficient quantities to eliminate viruses on contaminating surfaces in hospitals and in public and private places and among medical workers and citizens to reduce the possibility of infection with the virus. Therefore, Zewail City researchers have made many disinfectants in different forms based on alcohol as an effective substance to eliminate viruses.

Disinfectant features:

  • Low prices
  • It can be provided in different forms such as 70% diluted alcohol, diluted alcohol supported with natural materials that protect the skin from drying out, and gel products supported with natural materials that protect the skin
  • The ability to support disinfectants with natural plant extracts, that may increase their ability to stop the activity of viruses and bacteria.


Required equipment and tools:

  • Storage tanks.
  • Tanks with flipping devices.
  • Packaging devices for packages of different sizes.
  • Fermentation tanks for alcohol production.
  • Distillers to separate and purify alcohol.



E-Learning in Zewail City

Zewail City has always been using a reliable student information system (SIS) and Learning Management System (LMS) to deal electronically with students’ requests and courses’ data.

Lately, during December 2019, Zewail City decided to move to Google classroom (LMS) because it has more integrated features with our environment and more secured features. In addition to the easy accessibility from different platforms and locations. As a result, when faced with COVID19, Zewail City was almost ready to go online and convert temporarily all typical classes/lectures into virtual classes/lectures online. It was important to conduct some orientation for academic staff, as change management, to be ready for this transformation. Consequently, Zewail City utilized the week of Sunday 15th of March to conduct awareness and orientation sessions about differences between face-to-face study and taking courses online. Then, we launched the E-learning initiative on the week Sunday 22nd of March.

To complete the cycle, the Information Technology department launched a new help desk solution and used a new set of tools for remote support to be able to solve any issues related to the new online setup.


As part of the response to Coronavirus pandemic, the Office of the Dean of Students has a great role with the students:

1- Wellness Unit

Zewail City Wellness Unit has been operating at full swing since day one of the lock-down, providing the students with the psychiatric support and guidance that they need and more, through interactive online sessions.

During these tiring times, The Wellness Unit stresses on the following:

  1. Know that you are not alone. This is a global pandemic, something we are all facing for the first time, so embrace the fact that you are not alone in this and recognize that your anxiety is completely normal.
  2. Put things into perspective. You can`t control the entire world or the pandemic so live everyday as it is and control what you can control.
  3. Create a daily routine. Regulate your sleep, awake times, get dressed when you wake up, exercise at certain times. Although routine seems boring, it is very helpful during stressful times.
  4. Stay connected to your family and friends. Use social media to keep in touch with them and never isolate yourself.
  5. Create an anxiety window. This is an old trick but a great one. Write all your worries down and set them aside. Give yourself one hour and only one hour of your day to think of them and enjoy the rest of your day.
  6. Focus on yourself and your feelings, take time to relax, find a new hobby, set longer times with your family.
  7. Regulate your news media monitoring, especially TV news. Seek information update at specific times during the day from health professionals and the WHO website only.
  8. Don`t overload yourself. You may have more time at home now but that doesn`t mean you have to be more productive. During stressful times our productivity changes so don`t put high, unrealistic expectations like studying the whole day or reading all the textbooks you wanted to read your entire life, this will only lead to disappointment and it is not logical.
  9. Be kind to yourself and to others, remember kindness heals.
  10. If you feel that your anxiety is out of control and you have symptoms that you are worried about, please reach out. We are here for you, providing professional help and support at The Wellness Unit: (

Remember: it is brave to ask for help when you need it 


2- Student Union

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Student Union (SU), of the University of Science and Technology in Zewail City, played a significant role in resolving student problems, raise their morale and help them maximize the benefits from the online learning experience.


On the academic level, the SU launched an all-out survey to identify the main issues students might be facing with the online learning in liaison with the administration, so as to reach an optimum educational experience for students and minimize any possible drawbacks.


On the community level, the SU launched the "ZC Gives" competition, which aims at challenging students to participate with ideas that contribute to enriching the intellectual and cultural experience within the City community. The selection of the best ideas will be based on students’ decision via online voting. The best three ideas will be implemented and receive monetary prizes as well.


As for the leisure part, the Activities Committee of the SU, organized a number of competitions, trivia, and concerts remotely, via social media, in an attempt to alleviate the tension of the students and help them overcome this stressful stage peacefully.


Zewail City Teams Working Remotely

Zewail City is always proactive when it comes to protecting its own staff and students. Consequently, since the health, welfare, and safety of students and staff is our highest priority, and in view of the precautions enforced by the government to avoid the spread of Coronavirus, Zewail City implemented the following precautions:

Our Administrative Departments are handling their processes remotely from home with full efficiency and punctuality. Staff handling critical on-campus tasks are always ensuring the smooth running of remote operation with no interruption. Zewail city possesses an advanced IT infrastructure that allows seeming-less remote access to all city resources and accordingly enabled all administrative departments to conduct all their duties efficiently and professionally with a minimal physical presence on campus. 

Zewail City greatly supports its staff and students throughout this outbreak and recognizes that they are concerned about their family and friends in other affected countries.


Zewail City Health and Safety Measures 

The Department of Health and Safety in Zewail City conducts awareness-raising sessions for all students and staff, as well as measuring the body temperature periodically for all students, staff, and Campus visitors.

Also, allocating a 24-hour support line and follow up on all emergencies and inquiries of students and staff to provide continuous help.