Medical Advisory to Mosques During State Reopening

Implications to Indianapolis Area Mosques of Governor Holcomb’s Roadmap to Reopen Indiana

In light of Governor Holcomb’s multi-stage plan for reopening the state, religious institutions are left with a decision to make regarding their plans for resuming congregational services during the reopening plan. In response, a committee of medical doctors in the Muslim community of Indianapolis developed a medical advisory regarding the risks of relaxing the pause on congregational religious services in the Indianapolis area mosques and appropriate measures to control them.

The committee’s assessment is that the risks associated with congregational religious services remain too high for resuming them at any level at this time. The COVID19 caseload and the rate of new cases remain high and, although not accelerating, is not declining. The CDC recommends relaxing social distancing only upon 14 days of decline in new cases. Islamic religious services, performed in closed prayer halls in close congregant proximity, is bound to cause significant spreading of COVID19. No level of precautions and use of personal protective equipment can make this risk low enough to be acceptable at this time.  Therefore, the committee recommends extending the pause on all congregational services, including daily congregational prayers, Jumaa prayers, and Eid prayers, at least for a few more weeks.

The experience during the first few weeks of the state’s reopening plan can offer critical data to reassess the contagion risk and the level of preparedness of the state to test for COVID19, trace contacts, and provide an adequate capacity of health care facilities to manage the cases. Only then can the recommendations above be revisited.

This assessment will be revisited after Eid-ul-Fitr inshaAllah.

Committee Members:
Dr. Nadeem Ikhlaqee
Dr. Shamaila Waseem
Dr. Faisal Khan
Dr. Sakib Khalid
Dr. Rahila Qazi
Dr. Mohammad Alhaddad
Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed
Dr. Waqar Mahmoud
Dr. Eyas Raddad

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