Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy dies in coronavirus quarantine

Popular 81-year-old actress was in quarantine after testing positive for the new coronavirus, state media reported.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 11: Actress Ragaa el Gedawy attends the "A Whole One" premiere during day five of the 8th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah C
Actress Ragaa El-Gedawy attending the 8th Annual Dubai International Film Festival in this 2011 photo [File: Andrew H Walker/Getty Images]

Celebrated Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy has died in a quarantine hospital, weeks after testing positive for the new coronavirus, state media reported on Sunday. She was 81.

“Ragaa al-Geddawy passed away this morning due to COVID-19,” the Egyptian actors’ union head Ashraf Zaki told the AFP news agency.

“No public funeral was arranged for health reasons.”

Gedawy tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus in late May and was being treated in isolation at a hospital in Ismailia province, some 130km (80 miles) east of Cairo, local media reported.

The former model was quarantined in the hospital until her death early on Sunday, the online edition of state-owned newspaper al-Ahram reported.

Gedawy was placed on a ventilator at an intensive care unit in the hospital due to her old age and her deteriorating health.

A veteran actor, Gedawy boasted a lengthy and varied career during which she gained fame across the Arab world.

She had recently finished filming for her latest TV series Laabet El Nesyan (Oblivion Game), which aired during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Geddawy started out as a model before taking on acting roles from the late 1950s, including her first film Ghariba (The Stranger) in 1958.

She went on to act in more than 380 films, plays and television shows alongside some of the biggest names in Egyptian cinema.

Geddawy was also the niece of renowned belly dancer and actor, Taheya Carioca.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country of nearly 100 million people, recently loosened virus-related restrictions to boost its economy.

Health authorities have so far reported a total of 74,035 coronavirus cases and 3,280 related deaths.

Source: News Agencies