Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Annasaheb Misal has served a show cause notice to three doctors of the civic-run Vashi hospital in the case of a mix-up of cadavers.
Medical officer of health Dr. Balasaheb Sonawane had conducted an inquiry into the matter and submitted a report, following which Mr. Misal issued a notice to hospital superintendent Dr. Prashant Jawade and mortuary in-charge Dr. Bhumesh Darade and Dr. Bhushan Jain on May 29. “The report said there was a lack of supervision on part of Dr. Zawade and negligence by the in-charge of the mortuary. Depending on the reply of the doctors, further action will be taken,” Mr. Misal said.
The body of migrant worker Umar Farooque Shaikh (29), who died on May 9, was exchanged with that of Kajal Suryawanshi (18), who died on May 4. The girl’s father, Dashrath Suryawanshi, performed the last rites on the body handed to him as per Hindu rituals.
On May 14, the hospital had called families of both deceased to collect the bodies as both their samples had tested negative for COVID-19. Both their relatives went to collect the bodies on May 16. Due to the pandemic, the body was completely wrapped. Mr. Suryawanshi directly went to the crematorium.
When Shaikh’s relatives went to collect his body, authorities realised it was missing. They approached the police on May 18, who learnt that the bodies had been mixed up.
The police went through CCTV camera footage and the register maintained about the bodies. Mr. Suryawanshi was then called to check a body in the morgue, which he identified as his daughter’s.
While Shaikh died of pneumonia, Kajal died of jaundice, at their respective residences at Ulwe and Digha. The bodies were brought to the hospital by the NRI Coastal police as per protocol to verify if they had COVID-19. On May 20, the Vashi police registered a case against ward boy Sunil Waghela, who handed over the body, and Mr. Suryawanshi who performed the last rites without verifying the identity.