In an oral instruction to the Superintendent of Gandhi hospital, the Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajendar directed that people who visit the hospital to collect the dead body of a family member must carry a photograph of the deceased. The photographs are to be matched by the mortuary staff before releasing the body. The oral instruction comes after staff at the state-run Gandhi Hospital recently released a body wrongly to a family, who in turn completed the burial rituals.
As per the new instruction to be followed at the time of the releasing body to the families, the mortuary staff at the time of handing over the body must insist for a photographs. Though the instructions were issued verbally and a government order with regard to this instruction has not been released.
The need for such an instruction to the hospital comes a few days after the body of 37-year-old Rashed Ali Khan who succumbed to COVID-19 on June 10 was found to have been misplaced by Gandhi hospital staff. The body was given away to another family. The family that recieved the body even completed burying Rashed in Pahadishareef area of Hyderabad.
Rashed's brother, Faizan, told TNM that this was a blunder by authorities and was even mulling filing a police compliant against Gandhi hospital for the lapse.
Rashed, a father of four children, was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. He was admitted at a private hospital on June 7 over a lung infection. On June 9, the private hospital management referred him to the Gandhi Hospital. He passed away on June 10 morning.
This, however, is not the first time that misplacing of a body was reported from Gandhi Hospital. Gandhi is the designated hospital for COVID-19 treatment in Telangana.
In the first week of June, a woman who was taking her husband's body to the graveyard, found out that it was not his body. The body was taken back to the Gandhi Hospital mortuary. The 57-year-old man, a resident of Begumpet in the city had succumbed to the virus on June 8.