Bodies mixed up at GH in Cuddalore; inquiry ordered

One of them died due to COVID-19; the other tested negative

In a goof-up at the Cuddalore Government General Hospital, the bodies of a 55-year-old man who died due to COVID-19 and a 51-year-old man who tested negative were mixed up and handed over to the relatives.

While one of the deceased was a Muslim from Bhuvanagiri near Chidambaram, the other was a Hindu from Panruti in the district.

The lapse came to light when the family from Panruti that received the body was preparing to conduct the last rites.

According to a Health Department official, Arumugam of Panruti was admitted to the GH with symptoms of fever a week ago.

Zaheer of Bhuvanagiri, who was admitted in the COVID-19 ward at the Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital (RMMCH), was referred to the Cuddalore GH after his condition became critical.

While Zaheer succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, Arumugam tested negative for the infection.

The official claimed that the lapse occurred after one of the families wrongly identified the body.

While conducting the last rites, Mr. Arumugam’s family noticed that it was not him and raised an alarm.

Already buried

They alerted the hospital authorities and found that Arumugam’s body had already been buried as per Muslim customs.

A Health Department official said that the body of Arumugam was exhumed and the bodies were handed over to the respective families. “A detailed enquiry has been ordered under the supervision of the Medical Superintendent. The Department will initiate stringent action based on the findings of the inquiry,” the official also added.

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