Health, Asia - Pacific

India:Hospital retracts ad denying treatment to Muslims

Hospitals across India denying treatment to Muslims or discriminating against them, angering global Muslim community

21.04.2020
India:Hospital retracts ad denying treatment to Muslims

NEW DELHI, India

A private hospital in northern India has apologized for running a controversial newspaper advertisement denying treatment to Muslims who have not tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The Valentis Cancer Hospital, located in Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh state, cited reasons for the ad connected with the Muslim religious group Tablighi Jamaat.

“The alleged misbehavior of Tablighi Jamaat members has contributed to the spread of the coronavirus infection in the country. This order is not valid for Muslim healthcare professionals, police and people who do not live in Muslim-populated areas,” the advertisement said.

Taking action following complaints against the hospital, a case was registered by the local police. The case and nationwide condemnation led to an apology from the hospital in the same newspaper on Monday.

“It has come to our notice that some people have been hurt due to our notice yesterday. A wrong message has gone, and we regret it and ask for forgiveness,” it said.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has claimed that 30% of its cases are linked to Tablighi Jamaat.

According to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, India now has 18,658 confirmed cases, including 592 deaths.

Anadolu Agency earlier reported that a government-run hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state has segregated patients based on their religious faith.

The hospital had set up different wards for its Hindu and Muslim patients. As per the hospitalization protocol, patients should be segregated on the basis of positive and suspected coronavirus cases.

Recent reports from hospitals across India of treatment being denied to Muslims or discrimination against them has led to anger among the international Islamic community.

In a series of tweets, the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (OIC-IPHRC) condemned Islamophobia in India.

“OIC-IPHRC urges the India Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted Muslim minority as per its obligations under international Human rights law,” the commission tweeted.

Following the strong message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, confirming that India will now wage a unified battle against the virus.

“COVID-19 does not see race, religion, color, caste, creed, language or borders before striking. Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together,” he said.

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