A mosque in Bengaluru has been turned into a Covid Care Centre by its management and opened its portals for treatment for Covid-afflicted patients regardless of religion and caste. The Eidgah Masjid located centrally in 4th Block of Jayanagar, a colony with almost half a million residents, turned itself into a 38-bed Covid Care Centre last week.
Three organizations came together to utilize the space available with the mosque that is closed for mass prayers since the State came under lockdown on April 27. The Eidgah Masjid Quidmath* Committee offered the 4,000 sq. ft. hall between the mosque and the madrassa while Safa Medicure Hospital offered the medical expertise.
The doctors, nursing staff and necessary wherewithal such as oxygen cylinder, ventilators and concentrators were provided by the Shihab Thangal Centre for Humanity which works under the aegis of All India Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (AIKMCC). Around 40 patients have so far been admitted into the centre during the last seven days. Of these, seven have been discharged after treatment. Besides treatment, drugs, oxygen and food are being provided free to the patients. The patients have to merely bear the expenses for the test which are done outside and at heavily discounted rate.
Dr. Aamir Thangam of the Shihab Thangal Centre for Humanity told this scribe that they conceived the idea of utilizing the space available with the mosque which is located in a corner of the large Eidgah and graveyard. The Centre has been operating a hostel in the nearby Tank Garden for the attendants of patients in the nearby Kidwai Cancer Hospital and National Institute for Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) for the last few years.
The facility has come handy for several purposes other than just accommodating the patients’ attendants. It is also utilized for accommodating students from Kerala on study trip to Bengaluru or for holding counseling or guidance sessions for local students or women. However, it has proved a boon for the patients as well as attendants admitted in various specialty hospitals, principally the Kidwai Institute of Oncology and the NIMHANS which are just a stone’s throw away. The Centre also provides palliative care to patients. The Eidgah Masjid Committee offered the space, security, food, beds and front office assistance. The Safa Medicure Hospital chipped in with doctors and medical expertise.
Dr. Mahboob who is overseeing the operations, informed that only those Covid patients are admitted in the Centre who have mild or moderate symptoms such as oxygen concentration above 90 (or two litres) as the Centre does not have ICU. Two doctors and eight nurses are on duty round the clock administering care to the patients. Eleven beds are provided with oxygen concentrators.
The Centre is receiving help from the local Congress MLA Ms. Soumya Reddy and police officials.
M A Siraj is Bengaluru based seasoned journalist who writes for a variety of newspapers including The Hindu, and news portals.