Covid-19's Most Unusual Volunteer: Egyptian Woman Celebrated for Washing the Dead

Published May 19th, 2020 - 08:42 GMT
Covid-19's Most Unusual Volunteer: Egyptian Woman Celebrated for Washing the Dead
Huwaida has washed 26 dead women so far. (Shutterstock: Alexandros Michailidis)

As COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in Egypt surpassing 600 deaths, burying victims has been quite a challenge, as several funeral commissioners refused to help with burying the dead in fear of contracting the virus.

Translation: "Um Islam from Upper Egypt, the woman who vowed to wash corona dead victims."

Per Islamic rituals, bodies of deceased Muslims have to be washed one last time before burial. Fearful of getting infected, many of the people who routinely demonstrate this practice in Egypt were reluctant to do it for victims of the novel Coronavirus.

Yet, a 45-year-old woman from Upper Egypt volunteered to wash Coronavirus victims' dead bodies in different villages.

Egyptian website Zat Masr interviewed Huwaida Farouk Hassan, who explained that she wears protective gear and gloves during the process, so as to not let the victims down during their last hours on earth.

Translation: "Outrage in Egypt after villagers refuse to bury a doctor, who died of the Coronavirus."

Huwaida also highlighted that Luxor's Preventive Health Unit has been providing her with needed equipment to ensure her safety, such as rubbing alcohol, gloves, and masks.

After weeks of hiding her new role from her 3 kids "so they don't freak out," Huwaida has managed to wash the bodies of 26 dead women thus far.


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