HERO coronavirus

The government’s response to the global Covid19 pandemic has been the best so far. But it would be futile to look at the government to come to the rescue when the impact of this pandemic will be at its peak all over the country.

In such a case individuals, groups and communities need to support each other to overcome this extremely difficult time. The Muslim community which has incurred the ire of the majority for some of its ignorant members must be prepared that community will be the last to receive government’s beneficiaries. So they must make themselves ready to face any eventuality that may come in their way to fight the corona virus pandemic.

Two highly respected members of the community, Mr. Kashif-ul-Huda and Dr. Shamsuz Zaman has prepared an action plan for the Muslim community. Dr. Shams is a medical doctor working in Delhi and Mr. Kashif is the former editor of TwoCircles.net.

Here are some recommendations that the two gentlemen has made for the Muslim community with a request to start planning and preparing for what is may likely to come their way in very near future.

1- There should not be any congregational prayers in mosque till this pandemic is over.

2- Masjid buildings should be offered as quarantine centers and isolation wards. Designating mosques as quarantine/isolation centers will cut down this risk drastically.

3- Community leaders should ask for a donation of cots, charpais, and beds and start preparing the masjid for catering to two types of patients.

5- One, for all positive cases or people who need to be quarantined and don’t show any symptoms yet.

6- Two, those who show symptoms should be moved to a different part of the masjid so that they accidentally don’t infect the first group who may have false positives or mild symptoms.

7- Separation of those who are tested positive is important to keep most vulnerable safe. Those who are severely sick should be shifted to the hospital.

8- All those facilities should also make sure that women are also accommodated; this is not the time for a religious debate about the separation of men and women.

9 – The community should also ask for volunteers who can take care of the people who are put in isolation. They should tie up with doctors and other health care workers to train these volunteers in basic first aid and sanitation requirements of dealing with a viral disease.

10-The act of cleaning and blowing the nose during wuzu (ablution) can aersolise the virus which can infect a more susceptible person, so care should be taken while doing ablution.

11 – We need to be ready to bury a big number of bodies in a short notice. We may also need to think about mass graves for safe and quick disposal of bodies.

12 The bodies should not be kissed or hugged as is the prevalent custom. Another group of volunteers should be trained and prepared, guided by medical professionals and religious scholars, on how to give symbolic “ghusl”, handle the body, do janaza with a bare minimum of people.

13 Loudspeakers atop the minarets should be used for community announcements and daily ‘zikr’ sessions to give people hope and provide support for spiritual and mental well beings.

The author of this action plan has requested that it should be circulated to larger Muslim audience and if necessary more points can be added to this, if needed.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com



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