MOSQUES across Southend have had thousands of Covid test kits delivered to ensure worshippers are safe during Ramadan.

Southend Council’s new initiative hopes to ensure diverse communities have equal access to Covid testing facilities.

The scheme saw 300 boxes containing 2,100 lateral flow (LFD) test kits delivered to Southend Mosque in West Road, Westcliff.

The test kits are for worshippers during Ramadan, which began on April 12 and finishes on May 12.

Test kits will also be distributed to Southend’s two other mosques – The Essex Jamme Masjid Trust on Chelmsford Avenue and Faizane Medina Masjid on Milton Road, and will be replenished when stocks are low.

Imam Iftikhar Ul Haque, of the UK Islamic Mission Southend Masjid, said: “These new rapid tests will help identify more people carrying the virus without symptoms and stop the spread of the infection.

“We will be distributing the kits to our congregation throughout Ramadan to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all those coming to worship at our mosque.”

Support - Imam Iftikhar Ul Haque of the UK Islamic Mission Southend Masjid

Support - Imam Iftikhar Ul Haque of the UK Islamic Mission Southend Masjid

During Ramadan, Muslims, who are able to fast, do not eat food or drink liquids from dawn to sunset.

It coincides with the easing of lockdown measures and the start of the Community Collect initiative involving pharmacies and libraries across the borough where you can collect free LFD test kits for twice-weekly testing to help identify those with the virus but not displaying any symptoms.

Everyone without symptoms is now eligible for twice weekly LFD testing kits, which can be ordered online or collected at community LFD rapid testing sites at University Square building, London Road, Belfairs Methodist Church on Eastwood Road North, and Shoebury Youth Centre on Delaware Road.

The kits can also be collected from Southchurch Library, The Forum, Westcliff Library, Kent Elms Library and Leigh Library.

Krishna Ramkhelawon, Southend’s Director of Public Health, said: “We understand that not everyone has the means or time to visit a testing centre on a regular basis but testing really is vital in stopping the spread of the virus.

“That is why we have introduced self-testing collection points across the borough, making it easier than ever for residents to introduce testing into their weekly routine.

“As restrictions ease and people start to meet up with others outdoors, the need for people who aren’t showing symptoms to take part in regular testing is more vital than ever.

“If regular testing is not something you have considered previously and you are not already accessing self-tests in another way, I urge you to order a home test or pick up test kits from a community test site." Visit

Health boss - Krishna Ramkhelawon

Health boss - Krishna Ramkhelawon