- Title: Melodies for healing: Nurse brings hope to COVID-19 patients with her violin
- Date: 6th July 2020
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN NURSE, JOSE LUIS, SAYING: "(It's great) that our co-worker comes and plays music, it's something that's really beautiful, honestly - as much for me as I imagine it is for the patients who are very stressed from being sick in here."
- Embargoed: 20th July 2020 18:16
- Keywords: COVID-19 Chile ICU Santiago coronavirus healthcare hospital intensive care unit music nurse pandemic patients soothe violin
- Location: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- City: SANTIAGO, CHILE
- Country: Chile
- Reuters ID: LVA006CLOA91J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: When most Chilean nurses finish their long shifts caring for the country's many COVID-19 patients, there is little else on their minds but seeing their families, eating and sleeping.
Not so Damaris Silva, who twice a week when she finishes her shift at 6 p.m. picks up her violin and returns to the ward.
Silva, 26, spends several hours walking the corridors of the Hospital El Pino, in the capital Santiago's poor southern La Pintana neighborhood.
She plays a mix of popular Latin songs, bringing a moment of levity for both patients - some of whom have spent weeks in critical care - and exhausted colleagues.
Her initiative is one of several dreamed up to lift spirits in Chilean intensive and critical care wards, which are at present close to saturation because of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Others have included strangers writing letters to patients, medical teams singing Happy Birthday and applauding those who are discharged after winning their fight against COVID-19.
Chile has at present close to 300,000 cases of the virus and more than 6,000 resulting deaths, which started in the capital where the majority of the population is focused but has since spread to more remote, less-well resourced parts of the country.
On Monday, the Chilean health minister referenced "positive indications" due to a sustained decrease in coronavirus infections and positive tests in Santiago and some other big population centers.
The health minister, Enrique Paris, insisted however that strict quarantines would remain in place across a large part of the South American country.
(Production: Esteban Medel)
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