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Masjids step forward to provide relief to patients by opening Covid care centres

The newly inaugurated Covid Care Centre in Masjid-e-Muhammadi in Hyderabad’s Rajendranagar

Facing the acute shortage of healthcare facilities for the Coronavirus patients, a number of masjids have allowed their premises to be used as Covid care centres.

Recently on May 25 a mosque in Hyderabad’s Rajendranagar started operating a full-fledged Covid isolation centre. The centre is located in the double-storey building which is attached to the Masjid-e-Muhammadi has been converted into a 40-bed centre.

The centre is equipped with oxygen beds, medical equipment, and a triaging system for first-line Coronavirus treatment. Aimed to support patients from weaker sections, the facility is free and open to all.

The school building with 20 classrooms will house two to three patients in every room, while there will be separate rooms for doctors, pharmacy, rest area, casualty and triaging.

Managed by the Helping Hand Foundation, the facility has been set up with support of Rs.75 lakh including operational expenses for the next six months by the Helping Hands Rotary Trust through Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan and Support for Educational and Economic Development.

Covid-19 affected patients in the Hyderabad mosque

Talking about the centre to the Indian Express, Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the Foundation said round-the-clock ambulance services will be provided to enable them to pick-up patients from their homes and also move them to a Government or private hospital, if required.

The medical team manning the centre will be headed by Dr. P Shafi, MD, Internal Medicine, DM (Cardiology), who will lead a team of 50 staff members, working in three shifts. The team including four doctors, four nurses, and four bedside caregivers will work in shifts of 6 hours besides the helpers and sanitation staff. A full-time physiotherapist and dietician are also part of the team.

In the Capital, Delhi too, a mosque in Green Park has been converted into a temporary Covid-19 quarantine centre. It is equipped with 10 beds where patients will be provided food, medicine, mask and sanitiser.

Arrangements for Coronavirus affected patients in the masjid located in New Delhi's Green Park (Pic: Courtesy/Twitter@ANI)

The daily Siasat quoted Mohammad Salim, Joint Secretary, Managing Committee, Green Park Mosque stating: “Covid cases are rising day by day and people are suffering a lot. We have converted the mosque into a quarantine centre with 10 beds. We are getting calls from people for admission. On doctor’s prescription, we will admit them.”

Besides accommodation and food, medicines, masks, sanitisers, and personal protective equipment will be provided. Salim added that, “Right now we do not have Oxygen supply but will try to get it as soon as possible.”

In Vadodara, Gujarat, a Darul Uloom, or Islamic seminary, created a Covid care facility with oxygen fitted beds and isolation wards within its campus. Located in Jahangirpura Masjid, the centre has 50 beds and will have doctors to attend to those admitted.

The Covid care facility in Darul Uloom premises Gujarat's Vadodara (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/@ANI)

The seminary’s principal, Mufti Arif Abbas speaking to Anadolu Agency said: “The cases were rising rapidly and the demand for hospital beds was huge. We decided to open the facility because we want to help people.”

With the rising cases of Covid-19 in Kerala, the Islamic Service Trust (IST) Juma Masjid in Mala, Thrissur became the first mosque in the State to be converted to a Covid care centre.

Not only were the mosque doors opened for those affected by Coronavirus, even prayers during the Ramzan were shifted.

The scene at Thrissur mosque, which was the first one in Kerala to be converted into a Covid care centre (Pic: Courtesy/Twitter@indiatoday.com)

The 50-bedded centre includes services of a doctor and nurse, health volunteers and a caretaker.

Sharing how the centre came into being, the IST Trustee, Jamal VS, informed that the initial plan was to open the madrassa as a Covid care facility. But since facilities there were found to be inadequate, the trust decided to open the doors of the masjid.

Elaborating on the arrangements to India Today, Sindhu Ashok, the President of Mala panchayat said: "Many patients don't have sufficient facilities at home. So the Islamic Service Trust provided their masjid for the initiative. We have initially set up 50 beds. Food will be provided by the panchayat, the Health Department's doctor and nurse will do the rounds and there will be a caretaker and two health volunteers. The Trust has also provided an ambulance which can be used to ferry people to the nearest hospital in case of any emergency.”