Coronavirus: Mother of baby with virus stresses importance of social distancing

Maryam Fazal and her family are being cared for by Emirates Red Crescent

A woman whose 10-month-old son has Covid-19 has stressed the importance of social distancing within the home.

Maryam Fazal, 27, said it was critically important that residents treated the virus as a serious threat and took all health safety precautions.

She told The National she lived in a house with her husband, her son, and her brother's family.

When her brother tested positive for the virus on April 9, the families tried to keep their distance as much as they could.

But since then, everyone in the household bar one of her nephews has contracted the virus and they are all now in quarantine.

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My main message to other parents is not to panic and to make sure they are social distancing

“I’m very worried about my son,” said Ms Fazal, speaking from Beach Hotel in Sharjah, where she is now staying.

“He’s only 10 months old and has been vomiting for two days.

“His chest is congested, he has a slight cough and red spots around his mouth.”

As of April 19, 6,781 people in the UAE had contracted the coronavirus, 41 of whom have died.

More than 1,200 people have also recovered from the infection, which has affected more than 2.3 million people globally.

Ms Fazal said she believed her brother, Mohammed Bilal, 38, a diabetic, was exposed to the virus first. He works as a team leader at the cargo department at Dubai International Airport.

He is in care at Al Kuwait Hospital in Dubai, while his wife, Shumayla, 36, and their three children, aged four to eight, are all in quarantine at the Hotel Holiday International Sharjah.

“We tried social distancing as much as we could,” said Ms Fazal, who works as an account executive for a courier company.

“When my brother developed a fever on April 2, we stayed inside our separate rooms and tried to keep everything very sanitised, so we don’t know how this happened.

“We are definitely worried about our son, but my main message to other parents is not to panic and to make sure they are social distancing inside their homes and staying indoors.”

On April 16, Ms Fazal was told that she, her husband, Raheel Muhammed, and their baby, Mohammed Aarib, had all tested positive and would be quarantined in a government-approved hotel.

Emirates Red Crescent has since been delivering food and other essentials to the family.

“We are all in one room and are waiting to be sent to another hotel where there are doctors available so we can receive care,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Fazal’s sister-in-law, who suffers from asthma, said she was also worried for her family.

Her eight-year-old son’s initial test results were negative but she said she felt he may have since contracted the virus.

“My husband has been in the hospital for 10 days now,” she said. “My children and I are quarantined together in one room at this hotel.

“There was no one to take care of my son, whose results were negative. So, he stayed with us.

“We are very stressed about the situation. My daughter has been complaining about chest pains and she had a fever the other night. We are all very worried.”

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