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Video showing bodies of patients lying near Covid19 patients in Mumbai Hospital goes viral

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Thursday, ordered an investigation on a video that has been shot secretly at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital at Sion and was posted on online by BJP MLA Nitesh Rane. It shows dead bodies, wrapped in black plastic, lying on beds next to Covid-19 patients, with no social distancing. Families of the patients were moving around the ward.

The hospital’s dean, Pramod Ingale, who has now been demoted, blamed the families of the dead for failing to collect the bodies of their loved ones and explained that the bodies were left in the ward because the morgue was full, the rules about what the hospital should do with unclaimed bodies were not clear. But according to the regulations, the body of a Covid-19 patient has to be removed 30 minutes after being declared dead.
The new dean, Dr Ramesh Bharmal said, “such things won’t happen again. The crux of the matter is educating the families of the patient. If a patient becomes serious, we’ll take the relatives aside and counsel them to not be scared. This is a social issue. People got to be educated about the disease and the way it’s safe to require the body and perform the last rites. We will have to educate them.”

Bharmal said that if families refused to require their dead, hospital officials would attend their homes to elucidate how they might conduct a funeral safely and, if need be, offer them PPE suits to wear for the funeral.

Prem Singh, head of a village council near Bhimtal, in Uttarakhand, said: “We are very scared. If America can’t cope, what facilities can we have here? I thought Mumbai hospitals would be equipped to affect cases – it’s an upscale city – but I used to be shocked at the photographs I saw on television. If we fall sick with the virus, God helps us.”

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