The imam of one of Blackburn’s biggest mosques has urged the Muslim community to get a COVID test, amid increasing fears due to the spread of the Indian variant of the pandemic.
“I am here to urge our community – the Muslims of Blackburn- to co-operate and take part in this present surge testing process,” Imam Rashid Ghani of Blackburn’s Raza Mosque said in a special video message shared by Blackburn with Darwen Council, Lancashire Telegraph reported.
“It is very important we do not endanger ourselves and our loved ones and the people we work with.”
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“It is important the government tracks and traces the spread of the current Indian variant. The whole purpose of the surge testing process is that they get a better idea of the influence of the Indian variant,” the imam added.
“It is important that you collect these tests your local hubs. Do not hesitate.
“Even the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said ‘the best of people is he who is beneficent to the people.”
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The move of the imam has been praised by the council of Blackburn with Darwen Borough.
Testing and vaccinating has been taking place in Blackburn, along with a number of other impacted areas in the UK, after cases of the B1617.2 mutation, the Indian variant, increased.
In the UK, there are 4,460,446 COVID-19 cases. The virus has also killed 127,716 so far in the country.
Islam is the second largest religion in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Results from the UK 2011 Census rate the UK Muslim population at around 2,516,000, 4.4% of the total population.
According to the 2017 census, the proportion of Muslims in Blackburn is 30.9%. 20.4% of the district’s population belongs to South Asian ethnic group, making it the highest percentage in the region.