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Death of Covid patient in Jammu: Hospital Management clarifies position

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JAMMU: Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH) Jammu on Thursday issued a clarification regarding the death of 70-year-old Covid patient.

The said clarification is produced verbatim below:

The deceased S. Surjeet Singh, age 70 years R/o Digiana, Jammu who was brought dead to the GMCH Emergency on 12-05-2020 at 07:20 pm, was immediately examined by doctor on duty and was found dead. Since, his attendants suspected his death due to COVID-19, on their insistence his dead body was shifted to Mini Mortuary, GMC Jammu, the area which is specially designated for Covid-19 suspect/ COVID positive dead bodies following all Standard precautions. His Naso Pharyngeal Swab was taken in the Mortuary for COVID19 and sent for testing on priority basis. His COVID test was reported Positive on 13-05-2020 at around 01:40 pm and after this, all the concerned agencies (CMO Jammu, Epidemiologist Jammu, SHO Bakshi Nagar) for tracing and testing of contacts and disposal of dead body were informed immediately.

One of his attendants reported to Hospital Administration around 06:30 pm and he was asked to contact and coordinate with local Police authority for shifting and cremation of dead body. At around 08:00 pm some more attendants came and asked for ambulance for shifting of dead body as they had planned cremation on the same day at Jogi Gate, Jammu and the ambulance (JKO2BS 9324, Driver Pawan Kumar, Mob No. 9419261815) was provided immediately. At around 08:30 pm, after providing all personnel protective gears to four attendants of the patient along with driver of the ambulance, the body was shifted to Cremation Ground at Jogi Gate.

However, since patient attendants were not allowed to cremate the body there due to objections raised by the local residents, the driver was forced to bring the dead body back to the hospital, where on the instructions of the Hospital Administration, the body was again kept in designated chamber in GMC Mortuary for COVID-19 patients.

On 14-05-2020 at 05:45 am, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Jammu informed Assistant Medical Superintendent, GMCH that the cremation of dead body shall be done at 06:30 am following this, an ambulance (JKO2BD 2065, Driver Mohd Akram, Mobile number (9697102524) was kept ready at the mortuary site at around 6.40 am for shifting of deceased.

Two attendants of the deceased arrived around 08:00 am but were not ready to assisting and shifting of the dead body initially but were convinced by the administration and members of their religious organisation for the same. Following this, three sanitary workers and two attendants in full personnel protective gears shifted the dead body from Mortuary to the Ambulance for formal cremation at Shastri Nagar Cremation ground with the coordination of the local/civil administration at 09:40 am.

Keeping in view, above mentioned fact the allegations leveled against the Government Medical College administration are false and baseless the Hospital authorities have fully supported for Cremation of the deceased with honour.

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