On Wednesday the Indian Express published a report claiming that the coronavirus patients and suspected cases have been segregated into separate wards on the basis of their religion at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. The report had claimed that Dr Gunvant H Rathod – who is the Medical Superintendent, had said that separate wards had been created for Hindu patients and Muslim patients as per a state government decision.
According to Indian Express, Dr Rathod had said, “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.”
However, responding to the misinformation campaign of the Indian Express, the Gujarat government had categorically denied the claims. The Health Department of Gujarat had also clarified that no segregation is being done in the Ahmedabad civil hospital on the basis of religion for coronavirus patients.
“Corona Patients are being treated based on symptoms, severity etc. and according to treating doctors’ recommendations,” the Gujarat government Health Department said in a statement.
The Health Deptt.of Govt.of Gujarat has clarified that no segregation is being done in civil hospital on the basis of religion.Corona Patients are being treated based on symptoms, severity etc.and according to treating doctors’ recommendations.— PIB in Gujarat (@PIBAhmedabad) April 15, 2020
Indian Express’ history of sensationalism
This is not the first time Indian Express has brought in a religious colour when it never existed. In 2019, the Indian Express communalised a road rage incident by reporting that that a Muslim youth was beaten up by five men upon identifying his religion. Even the victim of road rage incident hadn’t made any such assertions. However, Indian Express communalised the same on no basis.
Similarly, back in 2015, Indian Express had claimed that municipal corporation-run schools in Ahmedabad had ‘green-coloured’ uniform for students where school was in Muslim-dominated area and ‘saffron’ coloured for students in Hindu-dominated area. However, it was also nothing but a figment of their imagination. It had come to the fore later that it was the management committee’s decision and they chose a colour because perhaps they liked a particular colour.