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Coronavirus: Veteran Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy dies at 81

El-Gedawy was one of Egypt's best known actresses after a career in TV, films and theatre spanning six decades
El-Gedawy, centre, had just finishing shooting a soap opera before she was admitted to hospital (Reuters)

Veteran Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy, whose career spanned six decades, has died following a lengthy battle with the coronavirus, her daughter Amira Mokhtar announced on Sunday.

El-Gedawy, one of Egypt’s most beloved actresses, had spent 43 days in a hospital in the coastal northeastern city of Ismailia after she became infected with Covid-19. 

She was admitted days after finishing shooting for the soap opera Le'bet El-Nesyan (Game of Oblivion), which was screened during the holy month of Ramadan to great acclaim.

A former model, El-Gedawy, who was 81, made her acting debut in the popular Egyptian film Doaa al-Karawan (The Nightingale's Prayer) in 1959.

Over the years she appeared in hundreds of films, plays and TV shows, collaborating with the country’s leading directors and actors, spanning generations.

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Her most recent work was in various television series and she was known for her roles playing aristocratic women.

El-Gedawy had been transferred to the intensive care unit at Abu Khalifa isolation hospital, Ismailia, on 2 June as her condition deteriorated.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country with 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.

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