Muslims in India turn mosques, madrassas into COVID care facilities to aid patients

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New Delhi: As India is witnessing a steep rise in COVID cases, Muslims in several parts of the country have turned mosques and madrassas into COVID care facilities to aid patients.

India has been witnessing a staggering surge in infections of more than 300,000 daily since April 22, which has severely strained the country’s health system, leading to massive shortages of hospital beds, oxygen and critical drugs.

But amid the chaos, Muslim organisations are coming forward to help the people struggling with infection in the holy month of Ramadan, international media reported.

In the Western state of Gujarat, administrators running a Darul Uloom, or Islamic seminary, in the city of Vadodara have created a Covid care facility consisting of — oxygen fitted beds — and isolation wards within the campus.

“The cases are rising rapidly and the demand for hospital beds is huge. We decided to open the facility because we want to help people,” its principal, Mufti Arif Abbas, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

“The facility has been running since last week, and we have been able to provide treatment to a good number of people,” he added.

A portion of a mosque in Vadodara has also been converted into a Covid facility. “We have hired doctors to run the 50-bed centre,” Irfan Sheikh, one of the committee members of the Jahangirpura Mosque, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the centre is equipped with oxygen as well. “The situation around compelled us to take the step,” he added.

In the capital New Delhi, where hospitals are facing an acute shortage of oxygen, many clerics have announced that they are setting up isolation centres for patients.

Other than these facilities, Muslim groups in India have also started helpline numbers to provide leads about beds and oxygen supplies, the report said.

There have been desperate calls on social media about shortages of beds and oxygen across the country.

“We started a relief task force a week ago. A control room in New Delhi with 30 people working is operational around the clock to help the patients,” Musab Qazi, a spokesperson of the Students Islamic Organization of India, the students’ wing of socio-religious organisation Jamaat-e-Islami, told Anadolu Agency.

“Through our task force, we are helping people find beds, oxygen supply, and drugs like Remdesivir.”

Meanwhile, the Indian government on Friday said that they have started importing the vital drug Remdesivir to ease out the shortage in the country. The drug is used for the treatment of coronavirus infection and is in huge demand across the country.


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