Andhra woman returns home days after she was presumed to have died of Covid
Vijayawada: When Gaddaiah, 70, visited a Vijayawada hospital to inquire about his wife Muthyala Girijamma’s health on May 15, he was told she had succumbed to Covid-19 two days after she was hospitalised. He was handed over a packed body as per Covid protocols at the hospital mortuary after the completion of formalities. Gaddaiah and his relatives immediately performed the last rites. A week later, the couple’s son, David, also died of Covid-19 on May 23. Gaddaiah held a memorial service for Girijamma, 60, and David on May 31. Little did he imagine, Girijamma, a vegetable seller, would return home at Jaggaiahpet in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district two days later and leave them shocked first and a bit frightened later.
It later emerged that she had recovered and that the body that was earlier handed over to Gaddaiah by mistake and was not that of his wife.
“Inquiries revealed that in the hospital, Girijamma was shifted to another ward for better treatment. On May 15, when Gaddaiah went to see his wife, he could not find her in the original ward. As the duty staff could not give proper replies, he thought she might have died,” a relative of the family said. Gaddaiah then went to the mortuary, where the staff showed him the body of a 60-year-old woman. “Maybe, because he was in grief, he could not properly identify the body and mistook it as that of his wife. At his request, the staff handed over the body to Gaddaiah.”
A Hanumantha Rao, the resident medical officer at the Vijayawada Government Hospital, said bodies in the mortuary are handed over to the relatives only after proper identification. “Similarly, the body of the woman was handed over to Gaddaiah only after he identified it. Girijamma was actually undergoing treatment in another ward, and she was discharged after she recovered.”
KV Rama Rao, a local police officer, said no case has been filed as there was no complaint.