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Fearful Egyptians disrupt burial of coronavirus victim

Published: Updated:

Egyptian police arrested a dozen people and fired tear gas in a Nile Delta village Saturday, as a crowd protested the burial of a COVID-19 victim, a security source said.

Relatives had taken the body of a retired doctor from her home in Daqahliya north of Cairo to the family vault in the village of Shubra al-Bahou.

But before the burial, dozens of villagers protested outside the cemetery, fearing the spread of the virus if the 65-year-old was interred there.

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The woman’s family were turned back from another nearby cemetery before returning to Shubra al-Bahou.

Security forces then dispersed an angry crowd with teargas, making 12 arrests, before the woman was buried.

Last month Egyptian authorities placed 300 families under quarantine in a village in Daqahliya governorate after a 72-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man died from the new coronavirus.

At the time Health Minister Hala Zayed said the measure was to allow sterilization procedures to prevent more infections in the village, which she did not name.

So far, Egypt has confirmed 1,794 COVID-19 cases and 135 deaths.

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate said on Saturday three doctors have died from the illness but that only one of them contracted it at work.

Another 43 doctors have been infected by the virus, the union said in a statement.

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