Okhla mosques pledge to set up COVID care centres


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Moved by the plight of families running from pillar to post to secure hospital beds for their loved ones, a group of Imams in Okhla and its neighbourhood has pledged to set up isolation centres with oxygen facilities in mosque complexes or other places for COVID patients. 

Nearly 20 Imams of mosques located in Okhla, Batla House, Zakir Nagar, Noor Nagar, and Abu Fazal Enclave participated in a meeting, held to work out modalities for setting up of temporary health facilities on Thursday, where they assured every possible support to create small Covid care units.

According to attendees, a resolution was made that each mosque will arrange at least 10 beds. The assembly was convened by the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board (DWB) and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan, who has set up a 30-beds centre in a school in Noor Nagar.

Mohammad Arif Jamal, Imam of Jogbai Masjid, on Friday urged people to come forward and contribute to creating Covid care facilities during the afternoon congregational prayers. Jamal said he has  formed separate teams of coordinators, volunteers and doctors to achieve the target.

“I presented the idea today before the people during Friday namaaz. One person has already agreed to allocate space for the facility where 10-12 beds can be accommodated. We have already started working on it with a team of 25 volunteers and prepared a list of equipment required.  We are hopeful the facility will be operational by Sunday. A person has been deputed to seek police permission for the same,” he said.  
Jamal said doctors, who are residents of the area, have agreed to volunteer. Khan, on Thursday, suggested Imams to set aside space to place beds in mosques or accommodations affiliated to them.

“Many families don’t have sufficient space or separate rooms for infected members in their houses, which led to virus’ spread. These small isolation units would help those households. I have also suggested that they arrange oxygen facilities. They can have tie-ups with nearby nursing homes or hospitals. Doctors in the vicinity will surely help them,” said the DWB chairman. 

Khan has appealed to the mosques across the country to step up and help people and also ease burden on government infrastructure.

“This is time to extend help but should also take precautions. Residents who can afford must contribute wholeheartedly to the cause,” he said.

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