CAIRO, 6 April 2021 – Police in Egypt are probing why the body of a COVID-19 victim was exhumed from a grave and desecrated.
Family members said they found the body completely burnt and dumped outside the Izbat al-Bagour cemeteries far from the place of her burial, according to officials of Egypt’s Qaliubiya governorate.
The probe seeks to identify and hold accountable the unidentified persons who removed the body from the grave, took it outside the cemetery, and perpetrated the sacrilegious act.
Media reports on Tuesday identified the victim as the mortal remains of a hospital nurse who reportedly died of the new coronavirus in Helwan, south of Cairo.
Citing family sources, news reports said the deceased was named Mona Ahmed, who had been working as a nurse in the Patient Affairs Office at Helwan General Hospital and resided in the American project in Helwan.
Initial reports are that the incident may be linked to stigma associated with COVID-19.
The head of the Helwan investigation unit, Mohamed al-Sisi, received notification Monday from family members of the 40-year-old deceased.
Some communities in Egypt have reportedly linked dying from the virus to a heavenly curse that they are opposed to victims of the pandemic being buried in cemeteries near their loved ones or where they would bury their loved ones.
Qaliubiya governorate officials say they have previously witnessed an incident where villagers refused to bury an elderly woman, fearing that coronavirus would spread among the villagers if she was buried there.
It would appear that the perpetrators believe such stories and hope that burning the mortal remains helps to kill the COVID-19 virus.