Bradford’s Muslim community united in grief as it buries 100th COVID victim in sombre milestone

Bradford’s Muslims are united in paying their respect and prayers as the community reaches the sad milestone of 100 COVID-19 deaths.

The Bradford Council for Mosques said, “the pandemic has touched the lives of every Muslim family in every corner of the district over the past eight months. This, on all accounts, is an epic tragedy of lives cut short”.

The Council for Mosques urged all Bradford district residents to redouble their efforts to help contain the spread of the virus, which is currently at a record high.

“Today’s tragic milestone is one that we never thought we would witness at the start of this pandemic,” said the President of Bradford Council of Mosques, Zulfi Karim.

“These 100 deaths are not just numbers on an Excel spreadsheet; they are mums and dads, husbands and wives, and children. They are also beloved grandparents, favourite aunts, uncles and cousins.”

“The virus has devastated families and brought heartache to the most vulnerable communities at a pace and scale never seen before. This includes older people in particular, as well as all those already struggling with chronic illness and other underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory conditions.

“Everyone connected to the Council for Mosques would wish to place on record our thanks to all who have supported bereaved families with dignity in difficult circumstances. They have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, in the most harrowing of circumstances.”

Mr Karim, himself still recovering after being left seriously ill by COVID-19 in March, added:

“The full extent of COVID-19’s impact on our community may not be fully understood for some time. It is possible that the death toll has been undercounted from the beginning. Passing 100 confirmed deaths is truly a staggering loss for our community to come to terms with.

“In many cases, because of local and national restrictions, the families and friends of those who lost their lives could not be by their sides when they passed. There may be limits on the number of people being in attendance but sadly there is no limit to the sorrow felt by family and friends who were robbed of the chance to say a final goodbye, or attend a funeral, because of the COVID-19 restrictions in place,” said Mr Karim.

He added that research shows people from the BAME communities have suffered higher levels of infection, hospitalisation and deaths due to COVID-19.

As the next phase of the pandemic escalates further across the Bradford district, he urged everyone to continue to follow the very latest public health advice:

– Maintain two metres social distancing from people you do not live with.

– Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in public places. When you are unable to wear a face covering, keep two metres apart from others.

– Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when leaving the house and returning and regularly throughout the day. When soap and water is not available outside of your home use hand sanitiser.

– Take extra precautions, limit your number of contacts with other people, ideally to members of your own household or support bubble.

– Avoid crowds and going to places that are not COVID-19 secure.