‘Corona cake’ spreading fast in Gaza

The UN has warned that a COVID-19 outbreak in Gaza could be disastrous, given the high poverty rates and weak health system in the coastal strip under Israeli blockade since 2007. (AFP)
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Updated 03 April 2020

‘Corona cake’ spreading fast in Gaza

  • The head of the Al-Nada bakery in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza has created a ‘corona cake’ depicting a woman wearing a blue face mask
  • He first posted the design on social media and now dozens of people are ordering them each day

KHAN YUNIS, Palestine: As he watched the world trying to raise awareness about the new coronavirus and convince people to stay at home, Palestinian baker Eyad Abu Rezqa cooked up an idea.
The head of the Al-Nada bakery in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza has created a ‘corona cake’ depicting a woman wearing a blue face mask, aiming to remind people of the importance of social distancing.
He first posted the design on social media and now dozens of people are ordering them each day in the impoverished Palestinian enclave, he said.
“Straight away it got great interest, customers starting saying ‘I want that cake’,” Abu Rezqa told AFP.
“Every day our clients’ demand for the mask cake is increasing.”
He stressed he was not belittling the risk of the deadly disease which has killed more than 50,000 people but trying to keep spirits up while promoting awareness.
So far Gaza has 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of whom are in isolation, according to health authorities in the Hamas-run strip.
Like much of the world, authorities have put in place strict social distancing rules to try to prevent contagion but have not yet closed all non-essential businesses.
The staff making the cakes are wearing protective clothing, Abu Rezqa pointed out.


Mumbai DJ swaps deck for doctor’s scrubs to fight coronavirus

Updated 28 May 2020

Mumbai DJ swaps deck for doctor’s scrubs to fight coronavirus

  • DJ Sanjay Meriya, known as The Spindoctor in Mumbai music circles, began work last month as a medical volunteer

MUMBAI: As India’s financial capital Mumbai battled a growing number of coronavirus cases, local DJ Sanjay Meriya set aside his turntable and dusted off a long-unused medical degree in order to help out.
Meriya, 30, known as The Spindoctor in Mumbai music circles, began work last month as a medical volunteer after spotting a government newspaper ad asking for help.
He has chiefly been visiting a slum in one of Mumbai’s worst-hit suburbs, clad in a protective suit and gloves, to instruct local residents about the precautions they should take to ward off the coronavirus.
“I’m very patriotic. I can battle this way (as a doctor),” Meriya, who signed up as a volunteer for at least three months, told Reuters.
Mumbai accounts for more than 32,000 of India’s 150,000 cases of the coronavirus, making it the worst-hit city. With government hospitals short of beds and health officials overworked, volunteers like Meriya are all the more important.
Meriya began to dabble in DJing as a hobby at around the age of 20 while studying for his medical degree, but said it then “took over me” — much to his family’s dismay.
“They hated it. They still hate it,” he said of his decision to devote himself to being a DJ.
Although worried about his potential exposure to the virus, Meriya’s family is thrilled to see him back in medicine.
“They now have a lot to share with all our relatives, if you know what I mean when it comes to Indian families,” he said.