WATCH: Egyptian family abduct corpse of victim from hospital
The family members were allegedly caught trying to snatch the body from a hospital in Faqous in Egypt's Sharqiya Governorate, a video that emerged online showed.
The culprits, numbered at more than a dozen, are seen transporting the corpse into the back of 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.
Egypt has so far recorded 17,967 cases of Covid-19, including 783 deaths.
Earlier this month, medical experts warned that the strained healthcare system of the Arab world's most populous nation was 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.
Since early May, the healthcare sector has indeed been approaching the "critical threshold of its capacity", said Ayman Sabae, a health expert at the non-government Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
The World Health Organisation says health care providers account for some 13 percent of total coronavirus infections in Egypt.
On Monday, Egypt’s medical union blamed the government for increasing levels of coronavirus infections and deaths among healthcare professionals, its sharpest criticism yet of the country’s handling of the pandemic.
The union reported that 19 doctors have died and 350 have contracted the virus, according to official figures, although testing of medical staff remains limited.