SHAFAQNA- San Antonio Muslims offer free COVID-19 drive-thru testing to help underserved communities. 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. “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.”
“The most common reasons that we see inequity, at least here in the community here in San Antonio, you know, it could be either to do with access to health care so that people either are uninsured, they don’t have access to health care, it could be due to transportation, where they don’t have transportation to get to where they need to go and seek health care,” said Missam Merchant, President-Elect of the San Antonio Indian Nurses’ Association, according to Foxsanantonio.
The Mosque initiative to provide free testing came amid increasing fears within the Muslim community about the coronavirus pandemic. 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, Aboutislam told. 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.