Hospital staff asks relatives to look for kin among pile of bodies of Covid victims

Relatives of Covid-19 victims were asked to search for their kin among a pile of bodies wrapped in blue bags at a hospital in Tamil Nadu.

Shocking visuals have emerged from Theni K Vilakku Government Hospital in Tamil Nadu where bodies of Covid-19 victims were left piled up in a room and relatives were asked to enter the mortuary and collect the bodies of their family members.

Several patient families have claimed that the hospital staff told them to enter the mortuary, search and take the bodies of their relatives.

The incident came to light when relatives of a 47-year-old man from Theni died of Covid-19 and his relatives went to claim the body. The family was directed by the mortuary staff to enter on their own and search for the body and take it.

The relatives were shocked when they saw several bodies covered in blue plastic bags and left in a pile. They then had to go and look for the bodies of their family members.

Later, pictures and visuals of the incident surfaced on social media. Reacting to the charges, Theni Government Hospital Dean Balaji Nathan stated that three officials have been found to be involved in the incident.

One contract worker has been recommended for dismissal while show-cause notice has been issued against two government officials, pending departmental action.

“For Covid, we have two rooms. The room sizes are small. The Covid bodies have been separated from non-Covid bodies that require postmortem. These were normal rooms where only three bodies can be kept, but at times 15 bodies are accumulated overnight,” he stated.

Balaji Nathan also stated that the protocol was not followed by the staff and the bodies had piled up during the night and as the room allotted for storing Covid-19 bodies was small in size, it was stacked in such a way.

The dean further stated that within two days a larger facility would be created to keep the bodies as per the procedure.

“Truth is that there was a security lapse in which relatives were allowed inside the mortuary, which is against the norms. Only one attendant is allowed and is accompanied by our staff for identification of the body. But the security and our government staff failed to follow that procedure,” said Dean Balaji Nathan.

When asked about the bodies being piled up, the hospital dean said that the bodies were kept in a small room.

Source: India Today

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