Over the past months, Islamic charities have led efforts to protect the community and help the vulnerable cope with COVID-19.
In San Antonio, Texas, many are facing the threat of the deadly pandemic without having a chance to get proper testing or medical care.
To make it more accessible to the vulnerable, the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center (MCECC) said they would host a free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site, News 4 San Antonio reported.
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“We had identified a need in our community for a while,” Sakib Shaikh, the spokesman for MCECC said.
“I mean, there are some gaps in our community. There’s a sizable refugee population and then on top of that immigrant population. While they’re very smart, and hardworking, they don’t know all the places, nor do they trust all the institutions that they may need to visit.”
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The mosque initiative to provide free testing came amid increasing fears within the Muslim community about the coronavirus pandemic.
“In general, I think the data is very clear and it’s really a fact now. It’s not like a rumor that health inequity exists,” said Missam Merchant, president-elect of the San Antonio Indian Nurses’ Association.
According to Pew Research Center’s 2014 report (Religious Landscape Study: Texas), Muslims represented 1% of the total population of Texas which has about 28,304,596 million people according to 2017 estimates.
This is not the first time for the local Muslim community in San Antonio to provide support to the vulnerable.
In 2018, El-Bari Community Health Clinic became the only health facility in the city providing its services for free.
Run by an all-Muslim volunteering staff, it opens only on Friday and Sunday to serve the needy in the city.