Mosques, gurdwaras step up to open isolation centres, hold langars
As coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases continue to overburden city hospitals, committee members and imams of mosques in Jamia Nagar are looking at starting isolation facilities for Covid positive individuals in the neighbourhood. One such facility will become operational in Jamia Nagar on Wednesday.
The move comes days after Delhi Waqf Board chairman and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan convened a meeting of imams and appealed to mosques to render services for battling Covid-19 with the support of residents.
Mohd Arif Jamal, the imam of Islah Masjid, said that the mosque along with Jama Masjid, Zakir Nagar, will be starting an isolation facility from the premises of a school in the neighbourhood. The 30-bed quarantine facility will be ready by Wednesday, Jamal said, and the facility is meant for those who do not have adequate space at home to isolate themselves or are in urgent need of medical attention.
“Along with members of the mosque committee and locals, we have started work on developing the quarantine facility. The facility will operate out of a school and will open on Wednesday. We are arranging nebulisers, oxymeters, and medicines that will be administered under the watch of doctors from the area,” said Jamal.
Patrons of the mosques have volunteered to render medical assistance besides taking care of the day-to-day management of the facility. “A number of doctors from the area have also pledged to dedicate two to three hours daily for the facility. Besides these doctors, we have also reached out to other doctors in the neighbourhood who will step in as and when required,” said Jamal.
He said the mosques have already procured beds and the other facilities will be in place by Wednesday. He said that the committee was in touch with MLA Khan, who has promised help with oxygen cylinders going forward. “As of now, we have not been able to make arrangements for oxygen cylinders. Till that happens, we will continue to provide other facilities and medical assistance,” said Jamal.
An official from the MLA’s office, familiar with the matter, said efforts are on to create more facilities in other parts of Okhla. “We had appealed to mosques to start a facility that could provide care to Covid-19 patients. Work for the same is underway and these facilities will start shortly,” said the official, on condition of anonymity.
Besides mosques, gurdwaras are also taking steps to help those in distress. Last week, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) started serving langar to Covid-affected families and others in distress. The meals are prepared at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and from there, they are delivered to different parts of the city via other gurdwaras. In the NCR, the Gurdwara Samiti in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, is carrying out a unique initiative—oxygen langar— under which Covid-affected patients in need of oxygen are supplied free oxygen. Patients suffering from respiratory problems can avail of the facility at the site till their oxygen levels return to normal.