2020-07-31 13:43:05 UTC
Officers will not investigate a breach of coronavirus rules after 250 people
attended a funeral, police confirmed.
It comes after the imam who led prayers at the Jamia Ghosia Mosque in
Blackburn tested positive for Covid-19 following the funeral on 13 July.
The mosque committee had said police and public health officials were
investigating the breach of a maximum of 30 people allowed at a funeral.
But Lancashire Police said the case was one for public health officials
Blackburn with Darwen has seen a "rising tide" in coronavirus cases in recent
days (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-53470600), according
to public health officials, centred on terraced houses with a high number of
Jamia Ghosia Mosque chairman Mir Zaman told the BBC it was their first
funeral since lockdown and accepted they had made a mistake.
He explained he mistakenly thought there were no restrictions on numbers if
hygiene and distancing measures were in place.
Blackburn with Darwen council leader Councillor Mohammed Khan said: "I feel
it's my duty to remind residents that sadly at the start of this pandemic,
three well known and well respected local Imams died from coronavirus.
"There have been a number of our borough's residents who have sadly also lost
their lives due to this deadly virus."
He added: "Their sad and untimely deaths should not be in vain and should
serve as a warning about the very real dangers and the severity of Covid-19
but also as a very clear reasoning for limiting funeral and wedding guest
numbers, as per the government guidance, to a maximum of 30 people."
The imam who led the prayers at the funeral on 13 July "tested positive for
Covid 19 and is recovering from the virus".
In an email to worshippers, seen by the BBC, the mosque committee said
"around 250 participants" attended the funeral prayer.
"There is a possibility that other attendees may also have been infected at
the Janazza prayers."
Most new coronavirus cases have been among Blackburn's South Asian community,
public health officials said.
For the next month, the area's 148,000 residents have been told to observe
the rules in a bid to avoid a Leicester-style lockdown.