Mohammed Wajihuddin | TNN | Updated: Apr 20, 2021,

MUMBAI: Several mosques in the city and the suburbs have begun to provide oxygen cylinders to Covid-19 patients and, in turn, take some pressure off the hospitals. The free oxygen comes with kits that can be fitted at home for Covid-19 patients whose oxygen saturation level is low.
Initiated by NGO Red Crescent Society of India, oxygen cylinders are being provided by several mosques in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including the city, Mumbra, Mira Road, Kalyan and Bhiwandi.
“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,” said Arshad Siddiqui, chairman, Red Crescent Society of India.

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. “It is God’s house, a sacred place, and we feel a good initiative should start from a sacred place. We are getting requests from all communities,” said Siddiqui whose NGO had earlier worked for victims of earthquakes, the tsunami and refugee camps of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.

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 adequate supply of oxygen, many lives can be saved,” he said.
Dr Azimuddin added more mosques would be roped in, provided the factory does not stop the supply. Hospitals are being preferred as far as the supply of oxygen is concerned. But it is also important oxygen is made available to NGOs trying to ameliorate people’s misery, he said.