COVID-19 patients at the Slamet Martodirjo regional hospital in Pamekasan, East Java, have demanded to be allowed to celebrate Idul Fitri at home with their families, with some resorting to extreme measures.
“Some families threatened us, but we remain firm in prohibiting COVID-19 patients from going home,” the hospital’s COVID-19 task force head Syaiful Hidayat said on Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com.
He added that some patients had even threatened to commit suicide if they were left in isolation during the holiday.
“We stood firm and did our jobs according to the protocols,” he said.
Syaiful said that, though the medical workers had become targets of anger and intimidation, they did not acquiesce to the patient’s demands, because the potential transmission of COVID-19 posed an even bigger threat.
“We rejected their requests simply because the confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients might transmit the disease to many people,” Syaiful said. “I urge the public to follow health protocols in order to avoid contracting COVID-19.”
This year’s Idul Fitri celebrations were much more understated than usual as many traditions and customs have been scrapped due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his Idul Fitri greeting, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on the public to prioritize their health and that of their families during the festive period.
“We celebrate differently, because [now] we all need to make sacrifices to not [travel] and gather [with our families] as usual,” he said.