QUARANTINE - DAY 4 - 9th March 2020
Today the American tourists who have been held in quarantine in the Angel Hotel, Beit Jala, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, were cleared to leave and all entrances to the city were apparently sealed.
An account of life in quarantine in the Angel Hotel:
Last Friday the first cases of the virus in Bethlehem were found in tourists staying in the Angel Hotel, Beit Jala thus sparking the lockdown. The area was isolated and no one was allowed to enter or leave the hotel from then on. As of Sunday night 42 people were still under quarantine in the hotel, 13 of this number are a group of Christian pilgrims from Alabama who had arrived 2 days before. It was announced last night that the Americans have all tested negative for the virus and hope to leave imminently. Fourteen hotel workers including the manager Mariana al-Arajah have tested positive and are quarantined on a separate floor. This was reported yesterday from a source with links to those within the hotel:
I spoke to a friend inside the hotel where the group of 42 people is divided into three smaller groups:
One uninfected person is in charge of communicating with health staff, national security and some officials who arrive outside the hotel. The same person is in charge of receiving all food, hygiene and medical supplies.
Of course, all people communicate with their family and friends on the phone but the quarantined have also formed several groups on WhatsApp for internal communication, especially with people infected with the virus. As for the delivery of food, cleaning materials and medicines (mainly vitamins) to the people testing positive, is assigned to specific persons who are to maintain strict rules of prevention. The situation is clearly incredibly difficult and will draw on everyones last reserves of tolerance and patience. We have started to adapt and now have a routine and rules for us to spend the 14 days of quarantine together.