Delhi AIIMS trauma center mixes up Covid 19 bodies – Muslim Cremated, Hindu Taken for Burials


Two families in Delhi were left distraught after Delhi AIIMS Trauma Center exchanged bodies of two Covid-19 victims on July 7. This lapse on the part of the hospital authorities, resulted in the Hindu family mistakingly cremating the body of a Muslim woman thinking it to be the body of their family member. AIIMS Trauma Centre called up the family of Nasreen (name changed) on the morning of July 7 to inform that Nasreen had succumbed to Covid-19.

Seven family members rushed to the hospital around 8 in the morning to collect the body but were asked to prepare for burial as the body was getting ready to be dispatched.

When the brother of the victim insisted on seeing the face, he was told that they’ll be able to do so only at the burial ground. One of the seven family members stayed at the Trauma center, while the rest went to the burial ground at Delhi Gate to prepare for the funeral.

Around noon, the body covered in plastic, as is the case with all Covid-19 bodies, was handed over to the family.

Right before the funeral, Nasreen’s three children again insisted on seeing their mother’s face. “We were told by an official at the Delhi Gate burial ground that we’ll have to pay Rs 500 to see the face,” Nasreen’s brother said. “As we paid them to see my sister’s face, we were shocked. It wasn’t Nasreen. It was Arti’s body (name changed) and belong to a Hindu family,” he added.

Nasreen’s family

The family members were told that there has been a mistake and they’ll get the “right body” in an hour. All seven family members waited at the burial ground for hours but there was no update. On reaching the trauma center again, they were told that the body of their beloved Nasreen had been cremated by a Hindu family.

The Hindu family, who had already cremated Nasreen’s body at the Punjabi Bagh cremation ground, later learned that it wasn’t the body of their daughter.

AIIMS Trauma Center authorities told Media that an inquiry has been set up in the matter and one person from the mortuary staff was terminated, while another was suspended.

The exchange of two Covid-19 deceased at the trauma center was a lapse of the part of the hospital authorities, a human error perhaps, but this error could mean that the two families may never be able to get closure.