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Jakarta Post

Jakarta doctors share their experiences spending Ramadan, Idul Fitri away from families

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 25, 2020   /   08:16 pm
Jakarta doctors share their experiences spending Ramadan, Idul Fitri away from families Medical workers rest after conducting COVID-19 swab tests in Depok, West Java, on April 8. (Antara/Asprilla Dwi Adha)

Doctors from different hospitals in Jakarta have shared their stories of celebrating Ramadan and Idul Fitri away from their families during the COVID-19 outbreak, as part of a stay-at-home campaign launched by the Jakarta administration.

In a video uploaded to the administration’s social media accounts, three doctors said they had not seen their families for months to avoid potentially spreading the virus to their loved ones.

"I haven’t returned home since February,” Indria Febriani, a doctor at Pasar Minggu Regional General Hospital, said. "Usually, I break fast with my siblings, mom and dad, at home, [but this year I could not]."

"I haven't seen my parents for almost three months," Lia, a doctor who works at a community health center (Puskesmas) in Duren Sawit district, said.

She explained that she did not participate in mudik (exodus) to celebrate Idul Fitri with her parents this year over fears of transmitting the disease to her father.

"My dad is old and has heart disease, a comorbidity factor for COVID-19. I can't participate in mudik because I may be the carrier of the virus," Lia said.

The video also showed the doctors calling their parents. Most of them apologized for not being able to see their parents during the Idul Fitri celebration.

"Sorry mom, I can't see you during the Idul Fitri celebration. Let's meet through a video call instead," Kevin William Hutomo, a doctor who also works at Pasar Minggu Regional General Hospital, said. He has been staying at a hotel to avoid spreading COVID-19 to his family members.

"I don't know how long I will stay in the hotel mom, as long as there's still many COVID-19 patients [admitted to the hospital], I will stay here,” he said.

Indria also apologized to her mother for not being able to spend the Idul Fitri holiday with her family.

"Pray for me Mom, so that the pandemic will be over soon,” she said

Indria said it was a little demoralizing to see reports of Jakartans defying the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) enacted to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“My colleagues and I are still fighting, we will not give up. We will do our job well as best as we can until this pandemic is over. But I want to meet my family [again] too," she said.

Kevin echoed the sentiment.

"I hope all Jakartans stay at home and if you have to go out please follow the health protocols, use masks and maintain a safe physical distance," Kevin said.