A hospital in the Indian state of Gujarat, home to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has come under fire for allegedly dividing wards for COVID-19 patients on the basis of religion.
Several Twitter users were outraged after the news of alleged segregation of hospital wards for Hindus and Muslims in Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital spread.
The news report in English daily The Indian Express stated that the hospital's medical superintendent confirmed that wards for “Hindu patients and another for Muslim patients had been created as per a state government decision” while Gujarat's Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Nitin Patel denied any knowledge of such an order.
“Generally, there are separate wards for male and female patients. But here, we have made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients", the news website quoted Medical Superintendent Dr Gunvant H Rathod as saying. “It is a decision of the government and you can ask them".
The news report led to “Hospital in Ahmedabad” trending on Twitter as several expressed deep anger over the division along communal lines in the fight against a pandemic that has left over a 100,000 people dead globally.
Inevitable if COVID-19 makes you you spit shit & piddle in wards you need a different kind of bed oxygen and ventilator— HB🇮🇳 (@DelhiMuse) April 15, 2020
Hospital in Ahmedabad splits COVID wards on faith, says govt decision https://t.co/BSbamGWZxH
This is absolutely shocking if it is true! Hospital in Ahmedabad separating wards based on religion? What is the basis for this, what scientific reasons are there except discrimination? @Nitinbhai_Patel @CMOGuj this must be looked into urgently!https://t.co/HoYTrwqFD5— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) April 15, 2020
@WHO the world can fight off #Covid19, then we have to fight the hatred. @narendramodi 's own constituency filled with hatred making divisions even in this worst times. No pandemic can match with this hatred https://t.co/B4EYqrrvKN— #RejectNRC_CAA (@Najeeb53177959) April 15, 2020
The virus doesn't discriminate but we do!— Somita Pal (@somitapal) April 15, 2020
Sad to read that a hospital in Ahmedabad follows govt decision & splits COVID wards on faith https://t.co/gsTq6b0Ned #CoronavirusLockdown #covidindia #CoronaUpdatesInIndia
Modi’s home state, Gujarat, has 650 COVID-19 positive cases with 28 deaths as per government data. Participants of an Islamic congregation were largely held responsible for spreading the virus after the religious event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area became the hot spot of coronavirus cases in India. It was reported that the event had nearly a third of cases, almost 1,440, related to the Markaz, the headquarters of the Islamic sect Tablighi Jamaat.
According to the federal Health Ministry, the latest data shows India has 11,439 positive cases of COVID-19, while 1,305 people were cured and discharged. Some 377 people have lost their lives to the infection.