MAKKAH: A Saudi doctor who spent weeks in isolation in a hotel room in Jeddah after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) left an inspirational message for the next person to be quarantined there.
Dr. Omar Hafiz wrote: “Do not give up, my friend. These days will pass and will soon be memories. The virus will go and you will stay. I wish you a happy isolation.” He signed it, “a former isolated man.”
Hafiz was quarantined in the hotel after tests confirmed he was infected with the novel coronavirus. At first he only had a headache and fatigue but other symptoms developed, including a high temperature and a cough.
It was also discovered he had passed the virus on to his mother and two of his siblings, who were hospitalized. Hafiz sent an emotional message to his mother, saying: “I hope you are proud of me for being one of the people who have been serving the society, along with my colleagues, risking their lives and those of their families to serve their nation.”
It was a long and difficult ordeal but Hafiz and his family are on the road to recovery. They were released three days ago and have returned to their home in Al-Marwa neighborhood, where they will remain isolated until fully recovered, with no risk of passing on the disease to anyone else.
Despite the difficult experience, Hafiz said he remained positive throughout and never doubted he and his family would win their fight against the disease and return to their normal lives.
He said he still considers his job on the front line of the fight against the virus as a service to the nation, and plans to return to work as soon as it is safe to do so. He and his colleagues will continue to do everything they can to fight the virus, he added.
Hafiz also highlighted the importance of the preventative measures introduced by the Ministry of Health and other authorities to protect people and save lives. He urged people not to be distressed or unhappy, therefore, about curfews or other restrictions designed to protect them and their families.
The worst part of his job during the pandemic, he said, is seeing people seriously ill in hospital as a result of their own negligence or failure to comply with measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Many of these people transmit the virus to loved ones and friends who then also face a long road to recovery or, in some cases, a fight for their life.