Hospital in India’s Gujarat segregates Muslim and Hindu COVID-19 patients. ⁣

⁣Wards for confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in Gujarat state were being assigned according to the patient’s faith.⁣

Medical Superintendent Dr Rathod was quoted saying, “Generally, there are separate wards for male and female patients. But here, we have made separate wards for Hindu and Muslim patients.” On being asked the reason for such a segregation, Dr Rathod said, “It is a decision of the government and you can ask them.”⁣

Azad, a Muslim patient being treated at the hospital – “Muslims in the hospital are not only kept separately but discriminated against too. We don’t have doctors visiting us regularly… We are not fed well, we are not treated well and we are looked upon as animals.” ⁣

However Gujarat’s Health Ministry in a statement denied any kind of discrimination.⁣

Gujarat has a recent history of tensions between religious communities, with the state witnessing some of the most bloody religious riots in India’s modern history in 2002, when Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister. The segregation of wards will only help to further increase ongoing stigmatisation of Muslims in India.⁣

Since the initial report sparked international attention, Dr Rathod has issued his own statement, claiming that he was “misquoted”. “Patients are not segregated on the basis of faith … These reports in my name are false and baseless and I condemn it,” he said.⁣

Photo: Amit Dave/Reuters