BENGALURU: In a case of utter negligence, bodies of two COVID-19 patients were found in the mortuary of ESI Rajajinagar Hospital, more than a year after the deaths took place. Muniraju (62) from KP Agrahara and Durga (40) from Chamarajpet passed away due to the virus, and their bodies were stored in the old mortuary freezer since July 2020.
"As there were many COVID bodies during that period, it was decided to shift them to the new mortuary. The old mortuary was close to the oxygen pipeline of the hospital, so it was closed down. However, the hospital staff neglected to take out these two bodies and forgot about them. It is a clear case of negligence by both the caretakers and nodal officer," said a staffer of ESI Hospital, on condition of anonymity.
The old mortuary was closed last year, and families of the deceased did not take their bodies as the protocol then was to hand over the COVID dead directly to BBMP for the final rites.
On Saturday, housekeeping staff who were cleaning up the premises came upon the two bodies emitting a foul smell. They alerted medical staff who found the bodies in the freezer, and informed the medical superintendent and police. The bodies were sent to Victoria Hospital for postmortem.
"A case of unnatural death was registered, and we will take further action once the departmental inquiry is done by hospital authorities," said a police officer from Rajajinagar station. Dr Imtihan Hussain, medical superintendent, ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar, refused to comment.