Covid victim body mix-up in Uttar Pradesh
The body of Mohammad Nasir, a Covid victim in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, reached a crematorium on Wednesday while that of another coronavirus patient, Ram Prasad, was carried to a graveyard, the PPE jackets in which they had been wrapped obscuring their identities and causing the mix-up.
Farmers Nasir and Ram Prasad had been admitted to Cosmos Hospital.
Nasir’s relatives received a body wrapped in a PPE jacket from the hospital and took it to Shah Bulaki Graveyard in the Civil Lines area of Moradabad city and buried it in the afternoon.
The relatives of Ram Prasad took the body handed over to them to the Moksh Dham crematorium on Delhi Road and were waiting for their turn when a relative realised something was wrong.
Pavitra Kumar, the relative, said: “Ram Prasad was a stocky and tall man. But the body that we were carrying was 40-45kg and the height was barely 5 feet. So we opened the PPE jacket and found that it was someone else. We tried to contact police but didn’t get a response. We called the hospital and they suggested that we cremate the body we had received. Then we informed the local administration.”
Prashant Tiwari, the sub-divisional magistrate of Moradabad, said: “We exhumed the body of Ram Prasad from the grave and handed it over to his relatives. Now the relatives of Nasir are taking his body to the graveyard. We are probing the case and will fix responsibility. Those responsible for this blunder must not be spared.”
Sources in the administration said officials, accompanied by policemen, found out during the probe that the bodies of Ram Prasad and Nasir had been released at the same time.
Anurag Agarwal, the manager of Cosmos Hospital, said the bodies were wrapped in PPE suits and had been kept side by side when staff members put them in the wrong ambulances.
The police said a probe was being conducted and “would give a report to the administration soon”.
The relatives of Nasir, 45, said he hailed from adjoining Rampur and had developed some complications a few days ago. He had been admitted to the hospital three days ago after he tested positive for Covid-19.
Ram Prasad, 61, who lives in the Civil Lines area of Moradabad, had suffered a heart attack on April 16 and was admitted to Cosmos Hospital, where he tested positive for the coronavirus.