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General News of Sunday, 26 July 2020


Police, army seize corpse after family, hospital fight over ‘ownership’

The deceased is suspected to have died from COVID-19 The deceased is suspected to have died from COVID-19

The body of one deceased man has been seized from the Binde Hospital by police and military personnel in the Bunkprugu/ Nakpanduri district of the Northern Region.

This follows a scuffle between hospital officials and some family members of the deceased over the body.

The deceased was a native of a nearby community in the district and had travelled back from Kumasi. He died on Saturday dawn, shortly after he was rushed to the hospital.

Hospital officials who suspect he died from Coronavirus refused to release his body to family members, with reason that the appropriate protocols for managing bodies of suspected patients must be observed.

The situation sparked some confusion, leading to the shutdown of the facility.

Security personnel whose attention was drawn to the matter intervened, seized the body and kept it at an isolation facility at the hospital to be handed over to the district authorities of the Ghana Health Service.

A report by JoyNews suggests that there was security presence at the facility, with blockades at the entrance. Also, some admitted patients and their caregivers were asked to vacate the facility.

Brother of the deceased, Andon Joshua, in an interview with JoyNews blamed hospital staff for denying his brother the required treatment when he arrived. He also refuted claims that his brother died of COVID-19.

“Immediately we mentioned to the doctor that we brought our brother from Kumasi, the doctor just said it is coronavirus and did not attend to him. My brother was struggling to breathe when we brought him, they brought a cylinder but nothing was done because we said he came from Kumasi.

“It was just some seconds after the doctor came that my brother died. Then he just picked a folder and wrote what he wanted there and said we can’t come close to our brother again because they have sent him to an isolation ward.

“No vital signs were taken, no samples were taken. It was only after he died that some samples were taken. Everybody dispersed and there was no health worker around to help our brother. Even before the doctor came, there were nurses around, but no one helped our brother,” he told JoyNews.

Staff of the hospital who spoke to JoyNews under anonymity however say their hesitation to act fast was because there was unavailability of PPEs at the time to protect themselves at the time the ward was brought in.

Head of the District Environmental Health Unit, Joseph Ajakpah, told JoyNews the department is assisting relatives of the deceased in the management and burial of the body.

Meanwhile, the District environmental health unit has undertaken a major disinfection exercise at the premises.

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