Tunisian physician performs violin to elevate the spirits of sufferers contaminated with virus

SFAX, Tunisia (AP) – When Dr Mohamed Salah Siala began engaged on the COVID-19 frontline in January at a Tunisian hospital, he by no means imagined harnessing his musical abilities within the combat towards the virus.

But when the 25-year-old determined to take out his violin someday on the Hedi Chaker hospital within the metropolis of Sfax and play, he was praised for reinforcing the morale of individuals with the virus who remained in isolation and had want a smile.

The response from the sufferers was rapid – smiling, clapping and a few with their fists raised – celebrating the impromptu “live performance”. Some have been shocked to search out it was the physician on the violin.

“Taking part in music right here contributes to the affected person’s feeling of pleasure and to neglect the ache,” mentioned affected person Rachid Arous, who’s recovering from COVID-19. “It is a fantastic factor.”

Throughout her free time away from medical duties, Siala enthusiastically performs the violin and can be a member of a gaggle referred to as the “Pepper Band”.

“My aim is to make use of music to assist deal with corona (virus) sufferers who’re in poor psychological situation, affected by loneliness – which is their primary enemy,” Siala informed The Related Press on Saturday.

Siala now performs repeatedly within the hospital, when he has time.

As she walks by way of the halls along with her violin, Siala’s music not solely helps sufferers but in addition well being staff. They’ve been underneath stress in latest months because of a rise within the variety of hospitalizations linked to the virus which soared initially of the yr.

Nevertheless, it isn’t simply the violin to convey hope to the nation of North Africa. Tunisia exhibits indicators of decline of the virus. In latest days, it has seen one of many lowest charges of recent infections in a number of weeks. In accordance with the Ministry of Well being, 725 new constructive instances have been detected Thursday in a inhabitants of almost 12 million inhabitants towards a peak of greater than 4,100 new instances in mid-January. Likewise, the loss of life toll has fallen to 35, from a day by day common of 70 – and the height of 103 deaths a month in the past.

Except for intensive care beds, that are nonetheless full, oxygen beds are usually not as crowded as they was, as many sufferers are cared for at residence. At the moment, 1,264 Tunisians are hospitalized – together with 287 in intensive care and 111 on ventilators.

The nation can be anticipated to obtain its first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines this month. These are half of a bigger settlement with the COVAX World Vaccination Program for Growing International locations and the African CDC that Tunisia hopes to ship as much as 7 million doses of vaccine within the coming months.

Within the meantime, sufferers can rely on Siala to convey hope and resilience with the blows of her bow.

“He performs to entertain us somewhat bit virtually daily. I pray to God to guard him, and I want you all that God defend you from this illness, ”mentioned Brika Sdiri, applauding and smiling whereas listening to the music. “I hope to get out of this place wholesome, that is what I need.


Bouazza Ben Bouazza contributed to this report from Tunis.

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