A hospital in Ahmedabad has been placing its coronavirus patients in different wards on the basis of their religious identity, claiming it was based on a decision made by the Gujarat government, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

At civil hospitals, patients are normally segregated on the basis of their gender, with separate wards for male and female persons. However, at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, where 1,200 beds have been set aside for coronavirus treatment, separate wards have been created for Hindu and Muslim patients. Medical Superintendent Dr Gunvant H Rathod told the newspaper the segregation was made as per a directive issued by the Gujarat government. “It is a decision of the government and you can ask them,” he said.

Government denies

However, Deputy chief minister and Health Minister Nitin Patel strongly rebutted the claim. “I am not aware of such a decision [that wards have been segregated on the basis of faith].” Patel sad. “Generally, there are separate wards for males and females. I will enquire about it.” Ahmedabad Collector KK Nirala also denied any knowledge of the matter. “There has been no such instruction from our side and we are not aware of any such government decision,” Nirala told the newspaper.

Why did the segregation happen?

An unidentified doctor at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital told The Hindu that some patients from the Hindu community were uncomfortable about sharing a same ward as Muslims. “After some patients complained, it was decided to segregate them on a temporary basis,” the doctor said.


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