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Bengaluru: 15 months after death, bodies of Covid victims found ‘rotting’ in hospital mortuary

Two Covid-19 victims’ bodies were found ‘rotting’ in the ESI (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation) Hospital mortuary in Bengaluru, 15 months after they died of the infection.

The bodies were found on November 26, after workers cleaning the cold storage noticed a foul odour coming from the freezers. The bodies were identified using tags as Durga (40), a Chamarajpet resident, and Muniraju (35), a resident of KP Agrahara in Bengaluru.

Durga and Muniraju were allegedly hospitalised at the ESI hospital in July 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19. According to reports, they later died of the illness and their remains were transported to an ancient morgue before being turned over to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for cremation.

As per the Covid-19 protocols, the BBMP was to cremate the bodies of the victims. The state government, on the other hand, built a new morgue in the hospital in December 2020. Reports stated that when the new mortuary opened, these two remains stayed in the previous mortuary’s freezers owing to neglect.

Following the finding of rotting remains, the Rajajinagar Police Department took up the issue and attempted to locate the family of the deceased. S Suresh Kumar, a Rajajinagar BJP MLA and former minister, has written to Karnataka Labour Minister A Shivaram Hebbar, asking for an investigation and harsh punishment for those involved for the inhuman occurrence.

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‘The role of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanaara Palike and the ESI authorities is grave. In this regard, I request you order a high-level probe, get the detailed inquiry report and initiate stringent action against those who are responsible for this inhumane act’, S Suresh Kumar wrote in the letter.


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