‘Stop adding religious colour’: India slams US body for remarks on COVID-19 report

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India on Wednesday heavily criticised the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for its criticism of the country based on a ‘misguided’ report that COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad were segregated on the basis of their religious identities.

“USCIRF is concerned with reports of Hindu & Muslim patients separated into separate hospital wards in #Gujarat. Such actions only help to further increase ongoing stigmatization of Muslims in #India and exacerbate false rumors of Muslims spreading #COVID19,” the US Commission tweeted on Wednesday along with a media report.

Responding to the criticism by the USCIRF, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “As if its peremptory commentary on religious freedom in India is not enough, the USCIRF is now spreading misguided reports on the professional medical protocols followed to deal with spread of Covid-19 in India.”

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He said no segregation of patients is being done in the civil hospital on the basis of religion as clarified by the Gujarat government.

Srivastava said the USCIRF “must stop adding religious colour to our national goal of fighting the pandemic and distract from larger efforts”.

The USCIRF had earlier criticised India on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

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