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Action against 11 after bodies of Covid-19 swapped at Meerut medical college

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON SEP 08, 2020 12:06 AM IST


The Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College (LLRMMC) authorities in Meerut has recommended action against a staff nurse and removed from duty 10 contractual employees following an enquiry into an incident where bodies of two Covid-19 victims were swapped and the funeral of one of them was inadvertently done by the other family.

The incident came to light on Sunday when the family of Covid victim Gurbachan Lal, 85, from Modinagar town of Ghaziabad, spotted that the body handed over to them was of some other person and informed officials at the Meerut medical college.

In the meantime, the funeral of Lal’s body was performed by the family of the other deceased, Yash Pal, 55, at their native place at Kankarkhera in Meerut.

Following the goof-up, Meerut officials constituted a committee, which submitted its findings on Monday evening. It said there was negligence on the part of a staff nurse and other 10 contractual staff, including six nurses and four cleaning staff deployed at the medical college.

“The resident of Meerut had died at 1pm on Saturday and his body was to be shifted to the mortuary within 45 minutes to one hour. In between, his family asked not to shift it to the mortuary as they were on way. So the staff nurse did not shift the body to the mortuary and kept it at a holding area. The other victim from Modinagar died at 6pm on Saturday and his body was shifted to the holding area,” said Dr Gyanendra Singh, principal of LLRMMC.

In between, the duty of the staff changed.

“When the other staff came for duty, they put up tags on the bodies, which mentioned names, address, etc. However, they swapped the tags. This resulted in the wrong bodies being sent to their respective families. We admit that there has been negligence on our part. We have written to the director general (medical education) to take action against the staff nurse and asked the contractor company to replace the 10 contractual employees,” Dr Singh added.

On Sunday, at the funeral ground in Modinagar, the son of deceased Lal opened the body bag to see the face of his father for the last time but he was shocked to see another person.

He immediately informed the medical college after which the body was taken to the original family at Meerut and ashes of Lal were handed over to his family.

“After this incident, we have issued strict instructions to our doctors and staff to take up all procedures as per defined norms, especially in cases related to Covid-19,” Dr Singh said.

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