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Meerut hospital issues advertisement asking Muslim patients to get tested for COVID-19

Health workers attending to people arriving for COVID-19 tests at a hospital in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A private cancer hospital in Meerut has issued an advertisement in a Hindi daily appealing Muslim patients to come to the hospital only after getting themselves and their attendant tested for COVID-19.

In the 11-point advertisement, Valentis Cancer Hospital, which promotes itself as the only cancer specialty hospital in western Uttar Pradesh, held the religious congregation in Delhi responsible for the spread of virus in the country. It also chastised a section of the community for misbehaving with the health professionals.

Also read: Coronavirus | Centre concerned over polarisation on religious lines

The quarter-page advertisement in Dainik Jagran, dated April 17, further said that in case of an emergency, the hospital will send the samples of the patient and the attendant for testing and will be charged ₹4,500 each.

A day later, the hospital issued another advertisement in the same paper where it regretted if the first advertisement hurt the feelings of any community. Locals said the regret was primarily directed towards the Jain community, as a point in the April 17 advertisement described the community as ‘miserly’ and appealed to them to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund.

Chief Medical Officer Jaiprakash told The Hindu that he has issued a notice to the hospital. The notice says that in a secular country such kind of discrimination could not be accepted. If the hospital doesn’t give a credible response, its registration could be cancelled.”

Later, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Sahni told reporters that an FIR has been registered against the management of the hospital for hurting the sentiments of a community. "It has come to our notice that material published by the newspapers has hurt the sentiments of a community. We are investigating the case," he said.  

The incident was not covered in local newspapers. “Nobody wants to give up on the advertisement. This advertisement might have been carried in one newspaper but the hospital gives ads to almost all the local newspapers. Nobody would report it until an FIR is lodged,” said a local journalist, requesting anonymity.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:02:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/private-hospital-issues-advertisement-asking-muslim-patients-to-get-tested-for-covid-19/article31381182.ece

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