The Gandhi Hospital has created a mess by handing over a wrong body to a family and the incident came to light when the members of the deceased went to collect the body the next day.

Two people named Mohammed Qureshi and Rashed Ali Khan died due to the Covid-19 infection earlier this week. Since the two looked similar their bodies were switched at the Gandhi Hospital mortuary. The Qureshi family performed the last rites of Rashed Khan after they were mistakenly handed over his body.

Relatives burying the body of a COVID-19 victim in Ahmedabad. File photo.
Relatives burying the body of a COVID-19 victim in Ahmedabad. File photo.

According to the norms, a relative of the deceased is allowed to see the body through a glass partition and identify. Once he/she identifies it, the body will be sent from the hospital to the graveyard, where the body will be shown to family members from a distance. But they are not allowed to touch the body.

The official said that the body was handed over to the family after a member identified it. "The body was dispatched only after a relative of the deceased identified it. The relative in the presence of medical staff and police confirmed that the body belongs to his family member. After that, it was sent for the last rites. He failed to identify the body of his relative," the Times of India quoted an officer as saying.

Rashed Ali Khan was first admitted to a private hospital on Tuesday (June 8) and was shifted to Gandhi Hospital the next day. As per the norms, the authorities called his family on Wednesday morning and informed that he had passed away. They asked a family to come to the hospital and identify the body.

Men seen disposing the body of a COVID-19 patient in Puducherry

There were 13 bodies kept the Gandhi Hospital mortuary and they were disinfected and sealed in wrapping with a clear plastic sheet. One could see only the face through the plastic sheet. The family of Rashed Ali Khan had a tough time in identifying his body.  The family tried hard, but could not find his body.

"On Wednesday morning, we received a call from the police saying my uncle passed away and that we had to come to identify the body. At the hospital, we had to wait for a long time and it was in the evening that the mortuary staff asked us to identify the body from among 13 others but we could not find my uncle," Ubaid Ali Khan, the nephew of Rashed Ali Khan told Deccan Chronicle.

The official had mistaken Rashed Ali Khan's body to be that of Mohammed Qureshi family, which was allowed to bury his body at a graveyard in Shivrampalli. There was utter chaos continues at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital, when Rashed family learned about the switch in the bodies. The officials were planning to dig open the grave so they can conduct their prayers and perform the last rites.

Mohammed Qureshi family stated that it had reached the Gandhi Hospital at 10 am to claim the body, but they released it after 5 pm and the funeral was held in the evening. The family also alleged that it could not identify the body correctly as the authorities did not allow them to see it from close quarters.

"We participated in Rashed Khan's funeral believing it was that of Mohammed Qureshi. But we came to know only on Thursday that there was a mistake in the identification of the body and the body of Mohammed Qureshi was still lying in the mortuary. Police approached us and we requested that we be allowed to perform the last rituals of this body as it belonged to us," Khaja Pasha, brother-in-law of Mohammed Qureshi told DC.