As part of a new partnership that took place between the Jerusalem Municipality and United Hatzalah of Israel, more than 20 EMS volunteers driving ambucycles, an ambulance, fly cars, and an ATV, drove through the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem in order to undertake community outreach and spread awareness of the dangers of Covid-19 to the residents.
The East Jerusalem communities, which are made up of primarily Muslim populations, have been among the hardest hit by the disease over the past few months and have some of the highest rates of infection anywhere in the country.
The procession was undertaken by the city as one of the steps to combat the spread of the disease during the current lockdown. The goal of the procession is to increase awareness of the health regulations in place and thus prevent the spread of the disease.
The project which has been dubbed ‘Being Careful, Warning Others, and Saving Lives’ began earlier this week and lasted for five days with volunteers driving through two neighborhoods each night. The procession which was loud and vibrant drew the attention of the residents to the riders and drivers who were participating so that they could disseminate pamphlets in Arabic that were specially prepared by the city with information outlining Health Ministry guidelines and regulations concerning the virus.
The volunteers also disseminated stickers and posters that residents could give to their children or hang in their windows with information and tips about how to act during the lockdown.
Mayor Moshe Lion also participated and joined the procession in order to strengthen the efforts of the volunteers and encourage the residents. Residents thanked the Mayor and local authorities who are working hard to ease the burden of the residents who are in quarantine or suffering under the lockdown.
The nightly processions are accompanied by loud music and a specially composed jingle for the procession itself. Many residents have already hung the colorful posters on their balconies in solidarity with the procession.
Mayor Lion spoke about the special effort and partnership with the volunteers of United Hatzalah. “We set out on this project in partnership with United Hatzalah and we rest assured that the residents will internalize the important messages that the volunteers are handing out. We all hope that this plague will end and that our prayers for a full recovery for all those ill will come to fruition. We are working day and night in order to slow the spread of this disease across the entire city, and we are putting in a special effort to assist the Muslim community. We are working closely with the residents and their representatives in a number of areas including, health, social services, information, education, and others.”
United Hatzalah Chapter Head of East Jerusalem Roman Firas added: “Over the past five days, we have driven around East Jerusalem in an effort to raise awareness among the residents and help them follow the guidelines set forth by the Health Ministry so that they can protect themselves and those they care about. We all live in these neighborhoods and want the best for our friends, neighbors, and relatives. I want to thank the municipality for its help in making this project happen.”
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