Medical and other experts have expressed concern over what they say is a “disproportionate rate of deaths from Covid-19 in the Muslim community compared to their population size nationally”. According to the health department 6, 670 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday, which brought the confirmed cumulative number of infections to 559, 858. However, of that number 689 are Muslim deaths due to coronavirus.
Dr Uzayr Muhammad explained on what grounds the data was tallied.
“The main reason that the group actually got together was that we started to see the disproportionate deaths among the Muslim community, and our idea was that as Muslims we need to raise awareness about how covid impacts us,” stated Muhammad.
“We wanted to encourage the Muslim community to actually take into consideration the necessary precautions and understand the risk of infection,” said Muhammed.
However the one problem that we see now is if you go to hospital and test covid positive you are not allowed visitors
Muhammed explained it is the fear that hinders people from going to seek medical assistance when needed.
“So, we are trying to move forward and pave a way that will facilitate to break the stigma attached to contracting the disease and in that way we will change behaviours associated with contracting the virus,” detailed Muhammed.
“The only tangible evidence we have among the Muslim community in terms of the burden of covid-19 disease is what we acquired through the death statistics. Only if the person is a confirmed covid case they get registered onto the data base, so that’s the only information that we have that we can measure the extent of the coronavirus pandemic on local Muslims,” explained Muhammed.
Meanwhile, SA Muslim Network, Dr Faisal Suliman said SA Muslim Network said a misleading photo floating around the internet, displaying a group of congregants in prayer, attached to an article could be the cause of islamophobia and ill representation.
“Whether its fake news or taken out of context when a photo like this goes around on social media and people have the idea that Muslims are complacent and nonchalant of the coronavirus, Muslims are scrutinized and discriminated against,” said Suliman.
Suliman said there are many facets involved in the discrimination.
“This can take religious undertones and racial undertones and it certainly can raise the antimuslim sentiment especially because Muslims are so often portrayed in a negative light in the mainstream media,” described Suliman.
Suliman explained the picture was acknowledged by the Witness as a gross misrepresentation, this after a letter of complaint was lodged by SAMNET late last week.
“After we raised the concerned the photograph was removed on the online forum, unfortunately the hardcopy had already been printed and they will run the story again, properly this time,” smiled Suliman.