‘Grave’ goof-up: COVID patients’ bodies get mixed up at Hyderabad hospital

A file photo of Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.

A file photo of Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

A shocking incident of mix-up of bodies of coronavirus patients was reported here on Thursday.

The 37-year-old patient’s body, his family claimed, went ‘missing’ and was later buried without their knowledge.

According to the patient’s nephew, Obaid Ali Khan, the last rites were performed by the family of another COVID positive victim, also in his thirties, at a graveyard in Pahadishareef.

“My uncle was being treated at a private hospital for lung related issues from June 8-9. In the evening on June 9, the hospital told us that he had developed coronavirus symptoms after which he was moved to Gandhi Hospital in an ambulance and admitted. I was there when all this happened,” Mr. Khan said.

A day later, on Wednesday, the family received a call from the hospital informing them of the patient’s death. “I was told at 8 a.m. that he died around 4 a.m. I rushed to the hospital where I was told to identify the body. I checked, but none of the bodies there were of my uncle’s. I later called his father-in-law to identify the body, but it was not there,” he said.

It was later that police informed him of the mix-up, and that his uncle’s body was buried by another family, Mr. Khan said.

“The local sub-inspector called to tell us that he was already buried and apologised. I was shocked. We just wanted to see him one last time,” Mr. Khan said, adding that a grave was dug up to lay his uncle to rest at a graveyard in Muradnagar.

On Thursday evening, the family visited the Pahadishareef graveyard. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Khan said, “We are at the graveyard. We will let you know of our next decision later.”

Legislator Jafar Hussain Meraj, who represent Nampally Assembly constituency that covers Asif Nagar and Muradnagar, confirmed that the mix-up of bodies did take place. “There was a grave dug for the patient at Murad Shah Dhuti graveyard. I am in touch with the authorities and the family. Unfortunately, another family who lost their relative had misidentified the body and buried it at Pahadishareef,” he said.

Majlis Bachao Tahreek leader Amjed Ullah Khan, who raised the issue on Wednesday, expressed anguish and demanded a CID probe.

Calls and a text message to Gandhi Hospital superintendent M. Raja Rao remained unanswered.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 8:33:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/grave-goof-up-covid-patients-bodies-get-mixed-up-at-hospital/article31807948.ece

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