Jama Masjid may have to be closed again due to deteriorating Covid-19 situation in Delhi: Shahi Imam
The historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is likely to be temporarily shut again amid fears over the spike in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, the mosque’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Wednesday, two days after it reopened because of the nationwide easing of lockdown restrictions, which were enforced from March 25 in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 outbreak.
Bukhari is looking at temporarily shutting down the Jama Masjid because of the spike in Covid-19 positive cases in the national capital, which also led to a personal tragedy for him on Tuesday night, when his personal assistant for over 20 years, Amanullah (57), died at Safdarjung Hospital.
“Amanullah was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital on June 3 after he had tested Covid-19 positive. He had a heart condition, diabetes, and also liver ailment. He was at home for the past three-four months, as he wasn’t keeping well,” Bukhari said.
An official from the Shahi Imam’s office said on Tuesday night Bukhari had sought the opinion of the people on temporarily shutting down the Jama Masjid until the viral outbreak is reined in.
“A message was circulated on Tuesday night seeking people’s opinion on the matter. Most people have been in favour of shutting down the mosque until the Covid-19 crisis blows over. People are airing their views on social media. A decision on this will be taken later in the day, as consultations are on and other mosques may also follow suit,” the official said.
On Monday, around 200 people offered namaz at the Jama Masjid after it reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
“I’ve also urged other smaller mosques to appeal to people to offer namaz at home. All social gatherings should be strictly avoided, including for offering prayers, as they could turn out to be potentially lethal because of the viral outbreak,” said Bukhari.
Delhi reported 1,336 new Covid-19 positive cases till Tuesday night, as the overall tally rose to 31,309, including 905 deaths, the health authorities said.