A cancer hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut has put out an advertisement that it will not take in new Muslim patients if they don’t come with a negative test result for Covid-19. The Uttar Pradesh police took note of the incident after social media users pointed it out on Twitter and ordered an investigation.

On Friday, Meerut’s Valentis Hospital published an advertisement in a Hindi daily, saying that it will not accept new Muslim patients unless they or their caretakers submit negative test results for COVID-19, according to The Wire. “Several patients are not following safety guidelines [like using masks] and are also misbehaving with hospital staff,” the hospital said. “For the safety of the hospital’s staff and patients, the administration requests all new Muslim patients and one of their caretakers to get tested for Covid-19 and visit the hospital only if their reports are negative.”

“It is due to the ignorance of some Muslim brothers that everyone will have to suffer for some,” the the advertisement added. “But this is in larger public interest and also in the interest of Muslim brothers.” The hospital claimed that it does not discriminate among its patients and has treated several Muslims in the past.

The hospital said that it will admit patients who need urgent medical attention but their swab samples will be sent for Covid-19 tests to the Meerut Medical College. The patients are required to pay Rs 4,500 for the test. The hospital said that Muslim doctors, paramedics, judges, police personnel, teachers and those who don’t live in densely populated areas will be exempted from the rule.

The hospital also claimed that Covid-19 patients in Meerut are connected to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in March in Delhi. “All but two cases in Meerut are connections of the Tablighi Jamaat,” Dr. Amit Jain, who is part of the hospital’s management, told The Wire. “It proves to be a risk for all other patients and the staff if Muslims from densely populated areas are allowed to come into the hospital without tests.”

Earlier this month, the Centre had issued an advisory asking people to not label specific communities or areas for the spread of Covid-19. It has also urged people to not name patients or those placed under quarantine.

Uttar Pradesh has reported 969 cases of the coronavirus and 14 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 15,712 and 507 people have died.

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