Cairo: A video has gone viral online, showing an Asian man desperately hailing for a ride on a highway after a driver dumped him on Cairo's ring road on suspicion of having the coronavirus. In the video, the driver is seen putting a paper tissue on his nose as the foreigner, a Chinese national, is sitting in the back.
A voice is heard in the video jokingly shouts: "The first coronavirus case in Egypt!" The same voice then tells the driver: "May God support you, Hajji! Throw him out!"
The driver reportedly forced the foreigner out of the car later on the often-busy highway near Cairo's southern quarter of Maadi.
The incident, believed to have happened earlier this week, has sparked outrage among Egyptians after the video was uploaded. Some Egyptians visited the Chinese man in his hotel in Cairo and expressed apology to him for the incident, widely condemned in the media as an act of bullying and racism.
Some celebrities denounced the act.
"These are not Egyptians' ethics. Our apologies to you," said Egyptian film star Ahmad Al Saqqa in a post. "No to bullying and racism. We are far better than this behaviour," Al Saqqa added.
The victim was found to be a Chinese engineer, who has recently arrived in Egypt to work for a construction company.
Egyptian police identified and arrested the suspected driver, who said he had not intended to offend the Chinese passenger and attributed his act to fears of the coronavirus. Prosecutors ordered the driver remanded pending further questioning.
Egypt has recorded a total of 67 confirmed virus cases. Eight of them have recovered.