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BMC sets up committee to verify video showing bodies lying near Covid-19 patients

Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital's dean Dr Pramod Ingale said relatives of the COVID-19 victims are reluctant to take their bodies.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 7, 2020 8:41:30 pm
sion hospital, sion hospital dead bodies, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, mumbai coronavirus, covid dead bodies disposal The purported video showed some bodies lying near COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion area of Mumbai.

The Brihanmummbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Thursday said it has up a committee to verify a purported video of dead bodies kept next to COVID-19 patients in city’s Sion Hospital which went viral on social media. This comes after the BJP hit out at the Sena-ruled BMC over the incident.

 

Mumbai: Video shows bodies lying near COVID-19 patients;

In a statement, the civic body said the committee will find out the facts and submit its report in next 24-hours. As per the finding of reports action will be taken against the guilty. Civic body will ensure that no such incidents happens, the statement said.

The statement further said that the BMC had already issued a circular according to which all the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients and of suspected COVID-19 should be hand over to relatives in next 30 minutes of death. However, in many cases it has been observed that relatives are not available and they deliberately delay in accepting the bodies.

BJP legislator Nitesh Rane shared the video on his Twitter handle purportedly showing some bodies lying near COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion area of Mumbai.

In the tweet, Rane said, “The Sion hospital has shown utmost negligence by letting COVID-19 patients sleep among the bodies of those who died of the same disease. The BMC boasts of being the richest civic body but pays no attention towards the safety of patients.”

He also highlighted that the hospital mostly gets patients from Dharavi, the biggest slum area in the country and currently one of the Covid-19 hotbeds in the state.

“Is this how we treat our working class? Such carelessness of the medical staff and the Sion hospital could result in further spread of coronavirus infection,” he added.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and current Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Devendra Fadnavis called it an “extremely serious issue”, saying, “It is a very serious matter that patients have to be treated on the side of the corpse. The question is whether Mumbaikars have no guardian. The government should take immediate action and ensure that such an incident does not happen again.”

Congress leader Milind Deora also questioned the BMC for not following the WHO’s prescribed protocols for disposing bodies of coronavirus victims. “Outraged to see corpses laid beside the sick at Sion Hospital. Why isn’t @mybmc following @WHO -prescribed protocols when disposing of #COVID?19 corpses?” he tweeted.

“Public hospital staff are doing their best with limited resources at hand. Mumbai’s administration needs to step up NOW,” he added.

In response, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital’s dean Dr Pramod Ingale said relatives of the COVID-19 victims are reluctant to take their bodies. “That is the reason why the bodies were kept there unattended. We have now removed the bodies and are probing the matter,” he told PTI.

Asked why the bodies were not shifted to a mortuary, Ingale said, “There are 15 slots in the hospitals mortuary of which 11 are already filled. If we shift all the bodies to the mortuary, it will be a problem for bodies of those who died of causes other than COVID-19.”

The statement further said that the BMC had already issued a circular according to which all the dead bodies of COVID-19 patients and of suspected COVID-19 should be hand over to relatives in next 30 minutes of death. However, in many cases it has been observed that relatives are not available and they deliberately delay in accepting the bodies.

As of Wednesday, Mumbai had reported 10,527 COVID-19 cases and 412 deaths.

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