Karnataka: Body exhumed after hospital bungles | Hubballi News – Times of India

File pic of a burial of a Covid-19 victim

BELAGAVI: Following a dreadful mix up, officials in Kagwad, Belagavi, had to exhume the body of a 71-year-old after a private hospital discovered that they had handed over the dead man to the wrong family.
Adhering to strict Covid-19 protocol, the family had buried the deceased without even taking a look at his face.
It began on May 1 when Payappa Satyappa Hallolli, 82, was admitted to Venus Hospital in Belagavi city after he tested positive for Covid-19. The next day, hospital authorities phoned Hallolli’s family saying he had died. The body was dispatched by a hearse later in the afternoon to Mole village where the family resides, and the last rites were conducted almost immediately.
Not long after the Hallolli family returned home after the burial, much to their shock, they received a video call from Payappa from the hospital. Suresh Payappa Hallolli, Payappa’s son, said he was stunned beyond belief.
Around the same time, the hospital realised they had made a mistake. “By the time hospital staff arrived, we had already buried the body,” Suresh said.
Pramila Deshpande, Kagwad tahsildar, told TOI it was a clear case of negligence by the hospital staff. She said the deceased was Mayappa Mavanakara of Autonagar in the city. Mayappa’ family had earlier lived in Gokak taluk and since the names of the two patients sounded similar, hospital authorities had goofed up.
Pramila said hospital authorities contacted her to retrieve the body and an FIR was filed at Kagwad police station to procedurally exhume the body. “We used a JCB to retrieve the body,” Pramila said. “The hospital took the body in the ambulance and handed it over to the correct family.” Locals in Mole were also furious with hospital staff for bungling and berated them when they arrived to retrieve the body.
There were other repercussions too. Pramila said Payappa is furious with his family for burying the body without even bothering to look at the face. “In these troubled times, hospitals must be more careful while handing over bodies of the deceased,” Pramila said.

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Sagar Biswas

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