Chairman of Ummah T&T, Imam Rasheed Karim, says Muslims are willing to help in the COVID-19 fight. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

The Muslim community says it is willing to assist with the coronavirus fight in this country, following a meeting of the major groups in the Ummah T&T Muslim Federation, last night.

Federation chairman, Imam Rasheed Karim, told Guardian Media today that one of the first things they intend to do is host a medical clinic on Sunday 29 March 2020, for the general public.

“The general public—especially women—will be able to access testing for the coronavirus, as well as for diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses,” the Imam told us, “at the Medical Clinic we’re hosting at the Felicity Diplomatic Centre on that day. All men, women and children who come will be tested.”

Imam Karim said the Muslim Community will soon issue proper fatwahs (laws) which will guide Muslims as to how they should operate during this period of concern over COVID-19 in T&T, once they get the necessary information from the authorities.

“According to hadiths from the The Prophet, if there is a disease in your community, you should not leave it for fear of spreading that disease to others,” he explains. “Also, if you know there is a disease in a community, you should not enter that community.”

The Ummah T&T chairman observes that the announcement of this country’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 has come 14 days after T&T Carnival has ended. He is concerned citizens did not take the global health threat as seriously as they should have.

The Imam says given the 14 day incubation period for the virus, T&T may find itself in a situation it may not be able to cope with, just about to emerge.

He is recommending that regional and borough corporations in the country take the initiative to share information to their respective burgesses, in order to allay fears they may have about COVID-19.