- 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) WIFE OF PALESTINIAN NURSE, RAMI ABU AYYASH, WHO TREATS COVID-19 PATIENTS PREPARING IFTAR MEAL VARIOUS OF ABU AYYASH ON MOBILE PHONE TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS WHILE BOTH HAVING IFTAR MEAL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WIFE OF PALESTINIAN NURSE RAMI ABU AYYASH, REEM ABU AYYASH, SAYING: "Rami's absence started exactly three days before Ramadan, Rami has a great spirit when he is with us, we are used to him, not only that, he is my husband. He has never been away during Ramadan. Therefore, I was surprised that he had to be away, against my will, he should stay away for 28 days and there's nothing I can do about it." REEM PREPARING FOOD / CHILD PLAYING REEM CUTTING TOMATOES REEM COOKING VARIOUS OF REEM AND DAUGHTER TALKING TO ABU AYYASH VIA VIDEO CALL
- 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: LVA001CBJOSB9
- 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)
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