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Covid-19: Family cremates wrong body after mix-up at mortuary in Gwalior

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The staffers at the mortuary of a government-run hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior allegedly mixed up bodies of two deceased patients while handing over one of them to the relatives, police said on Sunday. The family that took the wrong body, which was wrapped in a polythene bag, even cremated it thinking that it was of their relative, a police official said.

The incident took place recently at the Gajra Raja Medical College and Hospital and it came to light when the
other family reached the hospital to receive the body, he said. According to police, both the patients had died due to
different diseases and tested negative for COVID-19. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Satendra Singh Tomar said that one Irtaza Mohammed (64), a resident of Morena, was admitted to the Gajra Raja Medical College on August 11 for the treatment of his hands.

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“He died on August 13 while undergoing treatment. However, the hospital did not hand over the body to the family
members as they said that the deceased’s COVID-19 test report is awaited,” he said. The hospital staffers told the family that the body would be handed over only after the COVID-19 test report.

“However, when the family members reached the hospital’s mortuary on August 15, they found that Irtaza Mohammed’s body was handed over to another family,” he said. Later, the family members reached Kampoo police
station and told the officials about it. Meanwhile, Suresh Batham (70), a resident of Bahodapur area of the city, also died in the same hospital on August 13, the ASP said.

“The hospital’s mortuary staffers mixed up the bodies and handed over Irtaza Mohammed’s body to Batham’s family,” he added. Kampoo Police Station in-charge K N Tripathi said that Batham’s family performed the last rites of the body, wrapped in a polythene bag, without seeing the face. After the incident came to light, Batham’s body was
handed over to his family for the last rites, he added.

However, the family members of Irtaza Mohammed created ruckus at Kampoo police station and the hospital on Sunday demanding action against the erring staff of the mortuary. The administration pacified them after assuring the action against the staff members who were at fault. A Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) will also conduct an
inquiry into the bodies mix-up, police said.

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