The body of an 82-year-old woman who had gone missing last week was found in the toilet of a government hospital in Maharashtra on Wednesday. This is the latest case of a patient going missing in the state struggling with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The coronavirus positive woman was missing since June 2 at the Civil Hospital in Jalgaon. The discovery of her body in a bathroom at the hospital has caused a stir in the area.
Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya tweeted about the incident and said the woman's grandson told him: “It's shocking, we want justice”. “We will get them Justice,” Mr Somaiya said, tagging former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
With the state's healthcare system overwhelmed by the surge in COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra has reported a number of cases of patients and bodies being misplaced.
In Mumbai, six bodies have been misplaced or cremated as unclaimed in recent days while a number of families said they were searching for bodies of their relatives.
An 80-year-old patient being treated in the COVID-19 ward of a government hospital disappeared on Monday and was found dead a day later near the Borivali railway station.
“He left from home at 5 and died at 7.30. This was hidden from us and we were later told that our grandfather is not in the hospital. This should stop and no one should have to face this,” his grandson told NDTV.
Earlier, a 60-year-old woman was almost cremated on account of being unidentified. Mumbai's Sion Hospital said her address was not listed in their records.
Her family, however, said all details had been given at the time of her admission at the temporary hospital at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) grounds.
The woman had been shifted from the hospital on June 2 because of last week's cyclone and the family had been searching for her since.
“Why were we not informed when she was removed from the hospital? The register at Sion had her entry and we had given all her details. How was she unidentified?” her grandson told NDTV.
Meanwhile, authorities have set up an inquiry after the body of a man who was murdered and later found to be coronavirus positive went missing on Sunday.
Kirit Somaya has sent a written a letter to the Health Minister, complaining about the sixth such incident.
"In the last few days in Mumbai, half a dozen corona patients' bodies are missing. There should be an inquiry on this," he said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is spearheading Mumbai's COVID-19 response, said in five of the six cases, the families had been notified.
On Tuesday evening, the Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the Shatabdi Hospital in suburban Mumbai and pulled up the security agency at the hospital.
"There has been negligence, there has been a lapse on the part of eagle security. That's why I have said they should be terminated. And the case has been handed over to the police. Everyone should be as responsible as the doctors and sisters are engaged in attending to patients," he said.