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WATCH: 'Run, sheikh!' Egypt imam abandons Eid prayers and flees police after coronavirus ban Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

WATCH: 'Run, sheikh!' Egypt imam abandons Eid prayers and flees police after coronavirus ban

'Run, sheikh, run!' social media users joked [Twitter]

Date of publication: 26 May, 2020

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Egyptian authorities have reportedly arrested a sheikh that was filmed fleeing from police in a hilarious video that appeared online, after he was caught leading congregational Eid prayers.
An Egyptian sheikh who was filmed running away from police during Eid prayers on Sunday was arrested by police, local media reported, after congregations were banned due to coronvirus fears.

A video emerged online showing the sheikh abandoning the prayers he was leading, clearly violating measures imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Upon seeing a police patrol approaching the group of worshippers, the sheikh is seen running away, triggering jokes and ridicule online.

"Run, sheikh Mahmoud!" social media users on Twitter joked.

According to Egypt’s Al-Ahram Gate, authorities have described the sheikh as "unofficial", with the ministry of endowment confirming that he was not an officially appointed imam.

Egypt has recorded 17,967 cases of Covid-19, including 783 deaths.

The outbreak has prompted authorities to impose lockdown measures, including closing mosques and banning group meetings and congregational prayers.

The hilarious clip comes after another video emerged this week showing the family of an Egyptian woman who died from contracting the coronavirus breaking into a hospital to abduct her body.

The culprits, numbered more than a dozen, are seen transporting the corpse from a hospital in Egypt's Faqous area, into a truck, before security forces intervened to stop the abduction. 

The body belonged to a 73-year-old woman, Egyptian media reported, noting her relatives wanted to bury her quickly after her announced death, as per Islamic tradition.

Read also: Drive thru prayers? This is how Muslims in Canada, US celebrated Eid amid coronavirus restrictions

Earlier this month, medical experts warned that the strained healthcare system of the Arab world's most populous nation is nearing a "critical threshold".

Hospitals have been hit by a flight of doctors abroad in recent years while the frontline staff left behind face shortages of medical supplies and protective gear that heightens the risk of infection.

The country's 17 isolation hospitals reserved for novel coronavirus patients reached their maximum capacity at the start of the month, deputy health minister Ahmed al-Sobki told local press.

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