Story

Palestinian family overcomes Covid-19 through confinement and social distancing

One morning, the world woke up to a virus widely spread that then was announced as a Pandemic. People were living their normal lives, working, children at school, seniors looking for their graduation year.  Families are missing at least one person in another country either for work, study or for the better reasons of a vacation or honeymoon.  Yes, some marriages were planned and other national occasions; Global conferences were also planned, flights were booked and same were venues and hotel accommodation. The world became united for one unhealthy reason!

Palestine announced the first 17 infected persons in the city of Bethlehem because this city received thousands of tourists and Pilgrims monthly to pray at the Church of Nativity, especially that Easter lent time has already started. The city was totally locked down, infected persons who tested positive were kept in quarantine, the tourists' groups were evacuated after three days of confinement and the people who dealt with the infected ones were quarantined at dedicated hotels with medical and humanitarian attention.

As schools, kindergartens, universities and other public spaces were totally shut down, measurements of e-learning and teleworking were put in place by each institution.  This did not become a choice for the public sector but rather an imperative to contain the spread of COVID-19 after the first cases were confirmed in Bethlehem city. 

The numbers were rising but not dramatically. Journalists were allowed to cover the daily lives and the situation on the ground, while the President and Prime Minister addressed the nation with pleads of cooperation and cautiousness.

The family was eager to embrace and hug our daughter, but we thought of her and our health, and did not want to risk anyone else’s health if she was carrying the virus.
Samir Joubran

On that morning, the girls arrived directly from the airport and did not enter the apartment but greeted the family from the elevator and went directly up to the third floor, taking all the necessary sanitary measurements upon arrival, in order to self-quarantine themselves.
This did not last for more than one night, as both of them showed symptoms with fever. The family called the Palestinian Health Institute who sent a sampling team around midnight and evacuated them directly to the hospital for medical attention and care.  On the second morning they received confirmation that their test results were positive.

 

 

 

People should stop promoting rumors that added to our fragile feelings and get to worry us, as the results were not out yet, but rumors were spreading already that our daughter and her friend had the virus. We did not hide this information as soon as it was medically confirmed.
Samir Joubran

Moreover, as UNESCO is combatting fake news and disinformation, we assured Samir and the local community that no efforts should be spared while transparency and access to information is the short way of educating the public. The Palestinian government, which is taking an up scaled procedures and measurements during this unusual situation. 

The awareness both parents of the young woman affected with COVID-19 virus in Ramallah, and their action taken for their daughter and her friend in the home quarantine, contributed in preventing the virus spread, as the two girls have not had contact with anyone in Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate.
Social media and journalists

It is very encouraging to know that Katia and her friend are recovering very nicely and have joined their families as we are reading this story.