- Title: Palestinian nurse breaks Ramadan fast alone, fearing COVID-19 risk to his family
- Date: 29th April 2020
- Summary: BEIT UMMAR, WEST BANK (APRIL 28, 2020) (REUTERS) REEM SHOWING HUSBAND FOOD WHILE THEY ARE TALKING ON VIDEO CALL REEM AND DAUGHTER SPEAKING TO ABU AYYASH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WIFE OF PALESTINIAN NURSE RAMI ABU AYYASH, REEM ABU AYYASH, SAYING: "Rama (their daughter) has an open WhatsApp line 24 hours, through Suhur (start of the fast at the break of dawn), Iftar time, playing time while with the kids, if she is fasting, or breaking her fast by mistake all through WhatsApp. His absence is annoying us, but we substitute for it through WhatsApp, where we can see him, but can't touch him." REEM PREPARING IFTAR MEAL FOOD ON DISH REEM PUTTING FOOD ON TABLE VARIOUS OF REEM PREPARING SALAD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WIFE OF PALESTINIAN NURSE RAMI ABU AYYASH, REEM ABU AYYASH, SAYING: "Of course, I'm afraid, Rami can finish his shift and come, but after his shift, he must maintain self-quarantine for 14 days, until his test result, God forbid, shows if he is positive or negative." REEM FEEDING HER DAUGHTER REEM AND RAMA EATING AND TALKING TO HUSBAND
- Embargoed: 13th May 2020 14:22
- Keywords: Coronavirus Health Nurse Ramadan West Bank
- Location: BEIT UMMAR AND TURMUS AYYA, WEST BANK
- City: BEIT UMMAR AND TURMUS AYYA, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA003CBJOSB9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
For this Palestinian nurse, even the simple joy of breaking his Ramadan fast together with his family is off-limits due to the coronavirus crisis.
Rami Abu Ayyash has been treating COVID-19 patients amid a local outbreak that has forced the Israeli-occupied West Bank into a partial lockdown, with curbs tightened for the month-long Muslim fasting holiday.
But while mosques have been closed and large gatherings banned to reduce the risk of contagion, most Palestinians have sought a sense of normalcy by breaking their fast nightly with immediate family.
Not Abu Ayyash, 39, who fears transmitting the potentially fatal disease to his wife and daughter.
"I have already spent 13 days without seeing my family, my wife, my daughter and my relatives," he said, dressed in scrubs as he spoke to Reuters from a hospital in the central West Bank village of Turmus Ayya.
Instead, he breaks his fast and eats pre-dawn breakfast over WhatsApp video calls with his family, who live miles away in Beit Ummar, a tiny, southern West Bank village near Hebron.
"We can see him, but can't touch him," Reem, Abu Ayyash's wife, said, lamenting his absence during the typically festive and family-filled holiday as she prepared food for the evening Iftar meal. "He was never away during Ramadan."
Still, Abu Ayyash has maintained a positive outlook throughout the crisis, telling his family they would stay connected through social media.
Palestinian officials have reported two COVID-19 deaths and 343 cases across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with a further 158 cases amongst Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
(Production: Yosri al-Jamal, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Rami Ayyub)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None