Mosques closed after imam’s death, rise in Covid-19 cases

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Published May 26, 2021

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Cape Town - An increase in Covid-19 cases following Eid celebrations and the death of senior imam, Moulana Ghosain Rhoda, has resulted in the immediate closure of Strand Moslem Council (SMC) mosques.

The SMC announced that it had unanimously decided to close all its six Masjids after Rhoda was hospitalised and died on Monday due to Covid-19-related complications.

The Ummah, Nurul, Anwar, Broadlands Park, Badr, Zaavia and Jaamia Masjid have been closed with immediate effect after a number of worshippers were diagnosed with Covid-19.

According to SMC secretary, Mogamad Nur Badroon, the number of infected people was increasing almost daily.

“We have closed the mosque as a precaution because preservation of life is important more than anything else. Our spiritual leader died Monday morning due to Covid-19 and that made us to act strongly to close all the Masjids. Eid was last week and there was inter-mingling of people. Even though we have asked people strictly, not to shake hands, not to embrace and be careful that there must be no spreading of virus.

“As the SMC affiliated under Muslim Judicial Council we had to wait for the leadership to act. My family is recovering from this virus, including myself, I have first-hand experience of this. We are a very close community and we know what is going on in our community and that is the reason why we took this decision to close the mosques that are used every day,” said Badroon

Health (MEC) Nomafrench Mbombo said the opening of places of worship put people at risk of being infected with Covid-19.

“I don’t encourage anyone to attend any social gatherings; they should only attend when it is necessary. I still emphasise that people should stay home and leave their houses only when it is necessary. Being vaccinated does not mean a person will not be infected, it simply means because of the vaccine the person has a better chance of surviving,” said Mbombo.

“Everyone has a right to decide whether they want to be vaccinated. The Department of Health has devised numerous strategies of reaching out to people in order to get vaccinated. We have enough vaccines to reach our target.”

The South African Council of Churches and the Muslim Judicial Council could not be reached for comment by deadline.

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