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Covid -19 delays autopsies, grief grips kin

On Tuesday, we handed over four bodies after reports came negative. Those bodies were with us for the last three days.

Published: 20th May 2020 06:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2020 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: In what can be called a collateral effect of Covid-19 pandemic, relatives of those who die unnatural deaths are made to wait for 2-3 days to receive the bodies, as mortuaries in the city are not conducting autopsies till they get Covid test results. Medical officers at mortuaries said that there have been many instances of family members arguing with the staff and demanding immediate postmortem after the bodies are brought to the hospital in murder, road accident, suicide and other unnatural deaths.

“But we ask policemen to convince them about waiting for the test results,” said a medical officer. Dr Satish KV, HoD, Bowring Hospital Mortuary, said, “As a safety measure, the mortuary staff are not allowed to come in contact with the corpse till the reports are received. Generally, we get the report within two days and in some cases, the same day. In the last few weeks, we have received more cases of people hanging themselves than accidents or murders.”

Another staffer at the Victoria Hospital mortuary said, “Some relatives want to see the face of the dead. But we don’t allow it as a precaution and also as per senior medical officers’ instructions. If the report comes positive, we don’t hand over the bodies to families and follow government protocol in burying bodies. One of our staff members is under quarantine after he received a body that was suspected to be a Covidpositive case a week ago. On Tuesday, we handed over four bodies after reports came negative. Those bodies were with us for the last three days.


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