Serbian Patriarch dies of coronavirus

Patriarch Irinej, the 90-year-old head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has died after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this month after attending a large public funeral for a bishop who also died of Covid-19. 

Patriarch Irinej was a conservative who also wielded major political influence.

On 1 November,  the Patriarch led a service at the funeral of the leading Orthodox Bishop in Montenegro, 82-year-old Amfilohije Radovic.

Thousands of mourners gathered at the event, without masks or social distancing. Many kissed the bishop's body as it lay in an open coffin.

This was despite a major spike in coronavirus cases in both Serbia and Montenegro, and a warning from the authorities that the event posed a risk to public health.

More than 104,000 people have tested positive and 1,110 have died in Serbia since the pandemic began.

source: with agencies

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