An Egyptian taxi driver has been jailed after a viral clip showed the cabbie bullying a Chinese passenger and dumping him in the middle of a busy road over coronavirus fears.
In the video, the taxi driver is seen covering his face with a tissue as the Chinese man sits in the back of his cab. Fellow motorists start cruelly chanting “CORONA! CORONA!” at the Chinese national.
Other motorists encourage the cabbie to eject the passenger over fears that the man has coronavirus. One of the drivers is heard yelling "Throw him out, throw him out... he has corona”.
Shortly afterwards, the cabbie dumps the passenger in the middle of the busy highway and drivers are heard laughing as the Chinese man desperately tries to hail another taxi to no avail.
The video then shows the terrified Chinese passenger standing in the middle of the road after being abandoned by the driver.
In a panic, he tries to re-enter the cab but is prevented from doing so by the taxi driver – and jeers of “CORONA! CORONA!” are heard in the background by other motorists.
The disturbing incident was filmed on a ring road in Cairo, Egypt, on March 11.
The passenger was identified as a Chinese engineer, who had recently arrived in Egypt to work for a construction company.
The footage quickly went viral and has been widely condemned online as bullying and racism – prompting Egyptian police to arrest the driver in the video.
The driver claimed he had not intended to offend the Chinese passenger and attributed his actions to fears over coronavirus. Prosecutors ordered the driver be remanded pending further questioning.
China’s Ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang, visiting the Chinese passenger at his hotel in Cairo and personally expressed his apologies for the incident.
Egypt has recorded a total of 67 confirmed coronavirus cases. Eight of them have recovered.
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