The holy month of Ramadan is proving particularly lonely and challenging for 30 Moroccan doctors and nurses who have been living in a luxury hotel now for nearly seven weeks to avoid the risk of infecting their families with the new coronavirus.
They shuttle back and forth every day between the five-star Hotel Dawliz and the Moulay Abdellah hospital in Sale, located on the other side of the Bouregreg river from the capital Rabat.
“My father is asthmatic and I would never forgive myself if I took the virus home,” said Mustapha Zeroual, 36, an intensive care nurse.
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The medics spend their free time watching television together, chatting, reading or working out, but must always stay more than a metre apart. They keep in touch with their families through phone calls and social media.
The separation is especially grueling during Ramadan, Islam's fasting month, when people traditionally get together during the long nights with loved ones, friends and neighbours to share food and drink.
“The last time I saw my parents was from the window 15 days ago when I went home to collect some clothes,” Zeroual said.
This year, Ramadan began on April 28.
Risk is part of our job
Nurse anesthetist Teimi Hakima uses a laptop to make a video call and speak with her family in her room at hotel Dawliz in Sale. (Reuters)
The North African country, which has about 36 million people, has so far reported 5,053 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 179 deaths.
Nurse anesthetist Jamal Bekali, prays in his room at the hotel Dawliz in Sale. (Reuters)
Not all healthcare workers are staying in hotels. Some decided to take the risk of remaining with their families and must take extra precautions to avoid contagion.SHOW MORE