Body of Covid-19 patient in Kolkata swapped with one who died of kidney ailment

The Railways has ordered an inquiry after body of a Covid-19 patient was allegedly swapped with the body of another patient who died of a kidney ailment at a railway hospital in Kolkata, officials said on Friday.

While the body of the patient, who died of a kidney ailment, was cremated by the civic body following Covid-19 protocols, the body of Covid-19 positive patient is now lying in the hospital as it can’t be handed over to the family.

“The family members of the Covid-19 patient identified the wrong body. As per the protocols of the hospital, we have recorded the entire body-identification process on video camera. There was no fault on our part,” said a senior official of the BR Singh Hospital.

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On August 1, 68-year-old Kalpana Bhakat was admitted in the hospital with kidney ailments. On August 3, her swab tests were sent for Covid-19 test. She, however, died on the same day. The body was kept in the hospital as test results were awaited. On Friday, when the test results came, it was found that Bhakat had tested negative.

“But when we went to take the body we found that it was not the body of our patient but belonged to someone else. The hospital authorities later checked the records and found that another family has taken our patients body. The body which was being handed over to us was that of a Covid-19 positive patient,” said a relative of Bhakat.

Soon after the incident, the local police station and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were alerted as the body of the actual Covid-19 positive patient needed to be cremated following safety protocols.

“We have been intimated,” said Ajoy Prasad, Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (eastern suburban division).

The railways have formed an enquiry committee to probe the incident.

“A four-member enquiry committee has been set up to probe into the incident,” said a spokesman of the Eastern Railway.

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