Shocker: A body of COVID-19 victim was found nibbled by rats! Are the hospitals in apathy?

In a shocking development that captured the appalling grounds of healthcare infrastructure in the country, the body of an 87-year-old COVID-19 victim was nibbled by rats at a private hospital in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and the incident had drawn massive flak as it has happened due to the apathy of the hospital. 

According to reports, the incident had happened on Sunday night. The 87-year-old was admitted to the hospital on September 17 after he complained of fluctuating levels of oxygen and respiratory problem and he has also tested positive for COVID-19 viral infection. However, he had breathed his last on Sunday night. The hospital had informed about his demise to his family over the phone following which the body of the deceased was packed and kept in the corridor outside the Intensive Care Unit. 

With the shock knowing the news, the family of the deceased had reached the hospital at around 7 am on Monday to receive the body. However, they got the body after an hour and they were further shocked to see that one of his eyes and some other parts of the body were nibbled away by rats. Giving another shock to the family, the hospital had produced a total bill of Rs 4 lakh for the treatment in four days. 

The hospital had allowed the family to take the body only after clearing the outstanding dues. By that time, the family had an outstanding of more than 1 lakh and the body was handed over to them after clearing the dues. When they saw the body, they were shocked and disturbed as some parts of the body were nibbled by rats. The incident came to light through the video that circulated on social media. 

In the video, the marks of injury on the face, ears, and legs on the body were visible and the revelation had drawn major criticism across the nation on handling the COVID-19 patients and victims. The family members had complained about the incident to the district administration following which the magisterial probe into the matter was ordered on Monday. 

In the statement, the district administration said that Indore district collector Manish Singh has ordered an inquiry into the incident related to a dead body in a hospital in Indore. The collector has deputed additional district magistrate Ajay Dev Verma to conduct the probe. Despite its apathy had come to light, the hospital management had seemingly maintained that it's not responsible for the incident. 

The hospital management said that it had already informed the family about the serious condition of the patient. He was suffering from comorbidity along with the COVID-19 viral infection. He died at 11.30 pm on Sunday and since there is no mortuary at the hospital, the body was packed as per the COVID-19 protocol and kept in the corridor outside the ICU. The hospital claimed that it was wrong to say that the parts of the body were nibbled by rats. However, the reports say that the hospital superintendent was given a show-cause notice seeking an explanation about the incident, which has now stirred the debate on whether the victims of COVID-19 weren't treated with dignity.