A mosque in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra has stepped ahead to aid the ongoing fight with coronavirus by becoming a makeshift COVID-19 hospital with beds and oxygen cylinders.
Much like the other places in India where the novel coronavirus is straining the healthcare system, Bhivandi near Thane is also struggling with a surge in cases. The city’s Makkah Masjid at Shanti Nagar in Bhiwandi East is now playing the double role of science by installing five-beds with oxygen and two doctors, according to reports.
30 oxygen cylinders are made available to seriously ill patients. The initiative has been undertaken by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Speaking about the reason for the initiative, JIH Bhiwandi president Ausaf Ahmed Falahi said a vast majority of the city dwellers lack awareness about the disease and are also unable to afford the expensive coronavirus treatments, which prompted them to launch the service.
“Bhiwandi-Nizampur is a very congested area and hence the disease is spreading rapidly. As it is the city has a poor health infrastructure, and now several general practitioners have shut their clinics due to fear of infection,” he said.
‘Unfortunate that Muslims have turned Mosques into a place for Namaz…’
“We decided now was the best time to revive the original function of a Mosque: to serve the community’s social needs,” a Mohammed Ali Shaikh, Ph.D. student of Pune University and a volunteer with the JIH Bhiwandi told The Mumbai Mirror. “And since we live in a multi-religious society it was obligatory for us to keep it open for all. It is unfortunate that Muslims have turned the Mosque into a place for namaz only,” he says.
Only a meager amount of Rs. 150 is being asked to pay so that the costs of the PPE kits and other essentials can be met. However, for some, that amount is far fetched. The mosque nonetheless is offering oxygen for free to anyone in need and are even delivering at homes of the needy.
Mumbai in Maharashtra has been the coronavirus hotspot of India until recently New Delhi crossed the 70k mark. According to the Maharashtra government, Bhiwandi has recorded 1,407 Covid-19 cases and 65 deaths by Wednesday.
(Cover image courtesy of @iamwithtruth1 via Twitter)