The bodies of two COVID-19 patients got swapped at Amritsar’s Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), prompting district authorities to launch a magisterial probe into the matter, officials said on Sunday (July 19).
The incident came to light on Saturday (July 18) when family members of a 92-year-old man, a COVID victim, insisted on seeing his face before the cremation in Hoshiarpur. They were shocked to find the body of a woman wrapped in a PPE kit.
However, the family of a 37-year-old woman in Amritsar, another COVID victim, had already performed the last rites.
The two patients succumbed to COVID-19 at the hospital on Friday (July 17) evening, the officials said, adding that their bodies were shifted to the mortuary.
While sending the bodies wrapped in PPE kits to their houses, the staff of the hospital had put wrong labels on the caskets, they said.
Describing the incident as highly unfortunate, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Shivdullar Singh Dhillon said, “This is a serious lapse and truth of the whole matter needs to be ascertained and the responsibility for the same needs to be fixed.”
“In order to ascertain the full facts of the case and to fix the responsibility in the matter, a magisterial inquiry is hereby ordered,” he said.
Amritsar’s Sub Divisional Magistrate Shivraj Singh Bal will conduct the magisterial inquiry, Dhillon said.