The family members identified the body at the Gandhi Hospital mortuary on Friday evening, say police.

Body of missing man with COVID symptoms found in Hyds Gandhi Hospital after 21 days
news Coronavirus Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 14:04

39-year-old Narender Singh, a patient who had COVID-19 symptoms, was considered missing from Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital for the past 21 days. However, in a bizarre turn of events, his body has now been found at the hospital's mortuary, say police. The body, which was kept among the unidentified at the Gandhi Hospital mortuary, was confirmed to be that of Narender Singh by family members on Friday.

Narender Singh was admitted at the Gandhi Hospital outpatient ward on May 30 for breathing difficulty, cold and fever. He was first taken to Osmania Hospital, then to King Koti and later to Gandhi Hospital from where he was said to be missing from May 31. The family had filed a missing person complaint on June 6.

Speaking to TNM, the Mangalghat police station house inspector G Ranaveer Reddy said, “The sub-inspector went through the unidentified bodies kept at the mortuary and called in the family for identification past 5 pm on Friday. The family identified the body as that of Narender Singh. The exact reason for his death and the circumstances that led to it are still unclear. We are also unsure if he was COVID-19 positive,” said the officer, who added that the investigation is still ongoing.

The police initially searched the mortuary register for a man in the age group of 35 to 40 but later found that Narender Singh was recorded in the Gandhi Hospital mortuary as a 55-year-old unidentified male. The police were unable to obtain CCTV footage from within the hospital but had searched CCTV footage from localities surrounding the hospital. However, they were still unable to trace Narender. What puzzled the police the most was that cellphone tower data placed the last known location of Narender's phone within Gandhi Hospital itself. 
 
Narender Singh, according to the police, had died on May 31 night past 10: 30 pm.

Read: Where is Narender? Mystery surrounds disappearance of Hyd man from a COVID-19 ward

Amjed Ullah Khan, the spokesperson for Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) in Hyderabad, has called for a CID investigation into the alleged lapses at the Gandhi Hospital that led to Narender Singh’s death.

“I was first notified about this missing case on June 5 by Balram, Nareder Singh’s neighbour. I advised the family to file a missing person complaint but since the missing person is from Dhoolpet locality (a poor locality in Hyderabad's Old City), the police took the matter lightly,” alleged Khan, who asked how a person admitted in the outpatient ward could go missing from the nodal hospital for COVID-19 treatment in Telangana.

Khan further alleged that it was a herculean task for the police to find Narender Singh as there was no cooperation from Gandhi Hospital authorities, and the police could not get any help as the CCTV cameras of the hospital were not working.

The Gandhi Hospital authorities had at first denied that Narender Singh was even admitted at their hospital, said Khan. The police had earlier told TNM that Narender was admitted at the outpatient ward by the ambulance driver on May 30 itself.

The hospital officials were unavailable for comment.

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