Mumbai: Many mosques in Mumbai have stepped forward to offer free oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients in order to share the load with hospitals and take some pressure off them.
The supply comes with a kit that can be fitted at home to support COVID patients whose oxygen saturation level is low.
According to a report by the Times of India, oxygen cylinders are being provided by several mosques in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including the city, Mumbra, Mira Road, Kalyan and Bhiwandi. The step is initiated by the NGO Red Crescent Society of India
“Since not all Covid-19 patients are getting beds in hospitals and many are being treated at home, we thought of making oxygen available to those who need it. It is being provided for free to people, irrespective of religion, caste or creed. This is our united fight against the pandemic and we thought of doing our bit to help the needy,” Arshad Siddiqui, chairman, Red Crescent Society of India was quoted by TOI.
Siddiqui said the demand is increasing and his NGO may not be able to meet it. When asked why he chose to involve the mosques in this work, he said they should not be used only to pray five times a day.
Activist Dr Azimuddin who is volunteering in the arrangement of oxygen for patients getting treated at home, said so far 1,000 cylinders have been distributed. “Many people are dying because they are not getting oxygen in time. I have seen patients being sent back from different hospitals due to the shortage of oxygen. If there is an adequate supply of oxygen, many lives can be saved,” he said.
This is not the first instance that mosques have stepped forward to offer help amid the pandemic. Recently a mosque in Vadodra was converted into a 50-bed facility.
According to Irfan Sheikh, Trustee of the Jahangirpura Mosque, this comes during the month of Ramzan, which is often said to be the commemoration of Prophet Mohammed’s first revelation.
“Coronavirus cases have been rising over the last few days, leading to a dearth of oxygen and beds. Due to this shortage, we have decided to convert it into COVID-19 facility which about 50 bed,” Sheikh told ANI.
“What better than the month of Ramzan to do this,” he added.
Long queues can be seen outside hospitals due to surge in COVID cases. Doctors and staff scrambled to treat Covid-19 patients and hospitals overran by the influx of patients, unable to meet the demands for beds.
India reported 2,59,170 new COVID-19 infections and 1,761 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. This has taken the total number of positive cases in the country to 1,53,21,089.