A Syrian refugee who works as a chef in Sao Paulo has been donating hundreds of lunch boxes to elderly Brazilians during the coronavirus lockdown as a way of thanking the country for welcoming him and his family, as seen in footage shot on Wednesday.

Talal al-Tinawi, a mechanical engineer who has been living in Brazil since 2013 and now works as a chef, and his wife Ghazal, have already and distributed 300 lunch boxes made in their home kitchen - while wearing gloves and masks in case they have the virus.

"I prepared 300 lunch boxes and I delivered them, I will start this week to prepare some more," said Ghazal.

"Due to the coronavirus problem, where people have to stay home - something I dealt with while in Syria, because of the bombs - I started to think about the elderly," Talal explained. "I started to distribute those lunch boxes to old people for free, and also since people have no jobs now, no money, it's even harder to pay, so I wanted to do something for Brazilians."

Brazilian governors have been urging citizens to stay indoors unless they work in critical fields since mid-March, as the number of coronavirus cases ramped up in the country.

As of Thursday, Brazil has nearly 7,000 confirmed cases of the virus, which has killed 244 people.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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