Alive Covid-19 patient declared dead in Patna hospital

Patna hospital declares alive Covid-19 patient dead

The patient's wife suspected a goof-up moments before cremating her 'husband's' body

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

In a major goof-up by Bihar’s prominent health care institution - Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), a Covid-19 positive patient Chunnu Kumar was declared dead on Sunday. His family members were summoned and the body was handed over to his brother with a directive that the body cannot be taken to his home as he was a Covid-19 patient and had to be cremated at Baans Ghat in Patna as per the government guidelines.

Minutes before he was to be cremated at the electric crematorium, Chunnu’s wife Kavita insisted on seeing the face of her husband for the last time. Though usually not permitted, she was allowed to have a look after several requests by the family members.

On seeing the face, a crying Kavita screamed in shock. The body was not that of her husband. She ran helter-skelter towards the hospital, only to be informed later that her husband was “alive and kicking” after undergoing treatment at the PMCH.


The body handed over to Kavita was that of 45-year-old Raj Kumar Bhagat of Purnea.

When the issue was brought to the notice of the PMCH Superintendent, Dr I S Thakur, he got the matter probed and terminated the service of Health Manager Anjali Kumari.

Completely shocked over such lax approach of the hospital mandarins, Kavita eventually heaved a sigh of relief after she was informed that her husband Chunnu, also in his 40s, and who suffered brain haemorrhage, was doing well. Chunnu was found to be Covid-19 positive when he was admitted to the hospital.

“Till Sunday morning, my husband was fine. At 10 am (on April 11), I was informed that his condition was worsening. And within an hour, I was informed that he is no more. I was handed over the death certificate and the body, with an instruction that the body of the Covid patient would remain sealed and he has to be taken directly to the cremation ground (Baans Ghat) in an ambulance for the last rites,” recounted Kavita.

“My insistence on seeing him for the last time saved the day,” she added with relief writ large on her face.