After the death of Covid-19 patient Nasir at a private hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district on Tuesday, his family buried the body handed over to them by the institute at a cemetery nearby. Around the same time, relatives of another pandemic victim, Ramprasad, arrived at a crematorium with the body received from the same medical centre. They say they had to wait for four hours because of a pile-up at the funeral place. When their turn came, Ramprasad’s relatives picked up the shrouded body to place it on the pyre and immediately realised something was not right. The body felt too light. Looking carefully at it, they also realised it was too short. The family then uncovered the face, and it wasn’t Ramprasad.
Ramprasad’s family rushed back to Cosmos Hospital in Moradabad where, they say, they did not receive any satisfactory responses from the staff, after which the relatives sought assistance from the police.
The news of the exchange of bodies created a stir in the local health department and administration. Subdivisional magistrate of the area Prashant Tiwari, who arrived on the scene, called up and informed Nasir’s family members about the mix-up, placed the body of Nasir in an ambulance, and sent it to the cemetery from the crematorium. Police were in the process of disinterring Ramprasad’s body that Nasir’s family had buried. “An investigation is being done in this case and action will be taken against the employees of the hospital who are responsible for it,” said Tiwari.
Like several parts of India, Uttar Pradesh too has been battered by the second wave of Covid-19. The state on Tuesday recorded 29,754 new cases and 162 deaths in 24 hours. UP has more than 2 lakh active cases.
Ramprasad, 61, who was a resident of Bangla village of Moradabad’s Civil Lines area, suffered a heart attack on April 16. The family took him to Cosmos Hospital for treatment. The institute carried out a Covid-19 test on him, and the result came out positive. After that, the hospital started Ramprasad’s treatment under the corona protocol. On April 19, Ramprasad died during treatment. The hospital passed on the information to his relatives and handed them a body on the evening of April 20. In the same hospital, Rampur’s 45-year-old Nasir was also receiving treatment after his Covid-19 test report came out positive. Nasir too died during treatment. The two families say that due to the negligence of the hospital the bodies got exchanged.