Did hospital separate Hindu, Muslim COVID-19 patients?

Govt hospital in Ahmedabad allegedly separates Hindu, Muslim coronavirus patients; govt denies

Officials said that the segregation was done three days back following instruction from senior government officers

Representative image (AFP photo)

In a controversial move, the authorities of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in Asarva allegedly separated Hindu and Muslim coronavirus patients in the specially made 1200-bed COVID-19 facility. Officials said that the alleged segregation was done three days back following instruction from senior government officers. However, the state government termed the allegations 'baseless'.

Medical Superintendent G H Rathod told DH that “Whatever has been done is based on the decision taken by the state government. I have nothing to add and I don’t want to comment.” Meanwhile, Ahmedabad district collector K K Nirala said that he had no idea about the move. “I have no idea about this. I haven’t come across any directive from the state government to do something like this.”

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Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who is also health minister, did not respond to calls despite repeated attempts. When contacted a COVID-19 patient admitted at the hospital told DH, “Two days back at around 11 pm we were asked to change our place. We were not informed about the reason. Later, we realised that only Muslim men and women were moved from the usual place."

 

"The decision was taken after several doctors and nursing staffs complained that COVID-19 patients, mostly from the minority community, loiter around in other wards and they also receive lots of relatives. After observing these movements, we apprised senior authorities who decided to restrict these movements. We also have over three to four dozen suspected cases and due to such unnecessary movement, the risk of spread of virus increases. This decision has nothing to do with their faiths," claimed an officer at the civil hospital requesting not to be quoted.

The state government Wednesday denied the reports of separate wards for patients. The health department tweeted from the official handle that "Some reports have appeared in the media that there are separate wards for patients of different religions in Civil Hospital Ahmedabad COVID hospital. These reports are absolutely baseless."

It further added that "Patients are kept in different wards based on their medical condition, severity of the symptoms and age, purely based on the advice of treating Doctors. Therefore, reports that appeared in certain media are totally baseless and misleading."

Hospital authorities said that there are 150 COVID-19 patients admitted in the 1,200 bed super-speciality block at the civil hospital, that started functioning for coronavirus patients since March 22. As of today, there are 150 patients out of which 40 to 45 are Muslims.