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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Decomposed bodies found in Pakistan hospital

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Islamabad: After reports of some 200 unidentified and decomposing bodies on the roof of Nishtar Hospital’s mortuary in Multan, Punjab, government has launched a probe, Pakistan media reported.

A top official from Multan’s Nishtar Hospital blamed the police and rescue officials for the decaying bodies at the medical facility’s rooftop — after the videos of corpses on the hospital’s roof left the nation in shock on Friday.

Following the reports of multiple unidentified decomposing bodies on the medical facility’s rooftop, the Punjab government and Nishtar Medical University’s vice-chancellor formed separate committees.

Nishtar Medical University’s (NMU) Head of Anatomy Department Dr Mariam Ashraf told Geo TV news that the rescue officials and police were to blame for the piling up of bodies in the morgue and on its roof.

Ashraf said that the medical facility could not refuse to accept the bodies as it was bound to take them in as safekeeping. “Police and rescue officials ask us to keep it in the hospital.”

“The police and rescue officials do not take them back on time. We have written documents in which we have asked them to take the bodies. Since there is a lag, such things happen,” the official said.

The hospital official said the bodies that the medical facility receives from police are usually decayed and they cannot be kept in the mortuary.

“As a result of their condition, maggots start eating them — and they can travel from one body to another. This is why, the bodies that are decaying are kept on the roof, where there are three rooms.”

Rubbishing claims that there were 200 or some bodies on the rooftop, the hospital official said that the medical facility’s administration has counted the exact number of bodies and shared the details with all the concerned authorities.

“Let me make it clear, only a few bodies were kept above. Putrified bodies are kept in the room.”

In reply to a question about the nonfunctional morgues, she said the hospital administration recently held a meeting with the Secretary of Health at Punjab Secondary Healthcare and Medical Education Department.

In the meeting, a new mortuary was sanctioned for the hospital along with the funding for the civil works for the dedicated structures to be built for keeping the bodies.

“Our institute absorbs the bulk of the load of the province in terms of receiving such bodies.”

Ashraf also defended the claims of several bodies being on the roof and said that not all of them were whole as autopsied bodies were also among them.

She explained that as the autopsied bodies are not whole and their organs and limbs are sometimes not attached to the body so they look like a pile of human body parts.

Punjab Police Spokesperson DIG Muhammad Waqas Nazir admitted that these were the abandoned bodies handed over to the hospital by the police under the inquest, which is the requirement of the law.

In a letter to the secretary of specialised healthcare South Punjab, the hospital admitted that bodies were stored on the rooftop of the facility for decomposing and after completion of the process, their bones were to use for education purposes, he said while rejecting the allegations of the hospital.

However, due to the negligence of the hospital’s staff, the bodies were kept in the open air on the rooftop, Nazir added.

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