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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Body swap in Meerut hospital, officials point to drunk sweeper

While relatives of one patient cremated the body without removing the PPE it was in, the other family discovered the error when they uncovered the face.

Written by Amit Sharma , Amil Bhatnagar | Meerut, New Delhi | September 7, 2020 2:31:14 am
Cases of possible Covid reinfection in 2 children with cancer at Medanta hospital in GurgaonThe hospital has reached out to the National Institute of Virology for sequencing of viral strain.(Representational Image)

An error while attaching identity tags led to the swapping of bodies of two elderly persons who died at the Covid-19 ward of Meerut Medical College. Senior officials said the error happened as the sweeper attaching the tags was inebriated.

While relatives of one patient cremated the body without removing the PPE it was in, the other family discovered the error when they uncovered the face.

Rajendra Dubey, Secretary, Medical Education has sought a report from DM Anil Dhingra. The DM has asked the district’s Chief Medical Officer Rajkumar Saini and ADM Ajay Kumar Tiwari to probe the incident and the two officials confirmed that the inebriated sweeper made the error.

“Modinagar resident Guruvachan (65) was admitted Tuesday with breathing problems. He died Friday night. The same night, Meerut resident Yashpal (58) died in the ward. Both bodies were wrapped (in PPE) before being handed over to the families. The sweeper, under influence of liquor, messed up,” said ward in-charge Dr Lokesh.

Chief Medical Officer Saini said Yashpal’s relatives cremated Guruvachan’s body Saturday without removing the PPE. “We have collected Guruvachan’s ashes and will give them to his family,” Saini said, adding that Yashpal’s body will be handed over to his family.

Guruvachan’s nephew Vikas Sharma said, “For one last look, we removed the cover and were shocked.” Family members staged a protest at the crematorium. “We were denied something important. Those responsible must be punished,” said Vikas.

The family has lodged a complaint with the CM’s Office and DM Dhingra. “This is a serious issue and we will take action against those responsible,” said Dhingra.

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