Blackburn mosque ‘faces police investigation’ over 250 at funeral


LONDON: Leaders at a mosque in Blackburn say they are being investigated by police and health officials after “around 250 people” attended a funeral service.

The chairman of Jamia Ghosia mosque said they thought there were no restrictions on numbers if hygiene and distancing measures were in place.

Jamia Ghosia mosque

According to BBC report, the mosque committee said the imam had since “tested positive for Covid 19 and is recovering from the virus”. Since 4 July, a maximum of 30 people have been allowed at funerals.

In an email to worshippers, seen by the BBC, it said “around 250 participants” attended the funeral prayer on 13 July.

It said: “Furthermore the mosque is under investigation by the police and public health for exceeding the number of people allowed to participate in a funeral, which is 30, and for failing to comply with the law. “There is a possibility that other attendees may also have been infected at the Janazza prayers.”

The mosque advised participants to isolate for seven days or attend a local coronavirus testing station. It said future funeral prayers would be limited to 30 people.

Blackburn with Darwen, which has one of the highest infection rates in England, brought in extra restrictions on Tuesday. The Lancashire borough has seen a rise in coronavirus cases, centred on terraced houses with a high number of occupants.

Most new cases were among the south Asian community, public health officials said. For the next month, the area’s 148,000 residents have been told to observe the new rules in a bid to avoid a Leicester-style lockdown.