Bodies at Suddie, Charity mortuaries to be tagged to avoid ‘mix-ups’
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Regional Health Officer (REO) for Region Two, Dr. Ranjeev Singh
Regional Health Officer (REO) for Region Two, Dr. Ranjeev Singh

FOLLOWING the recent mix-up of two COVID-19 victims at the Charity mortuary, in Region Two, Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Ranjeev Singh, has revealed that all bodies will now be labelled so as to avoid such occurrences.
This new arrangement will be enforced at the Charity and Suddie mortuaries.
Dr. Singh’s disclosure to the media came after the completion of an internal investigation into the incident which had caused the relatives of the deceased additional distress.
The investigation, which was conducted by officials from the Regional Health Services, revealed that the bodies were not tagged and were wrapped based on advice given. This would have made it impossible for morgue officials to accurately identify the bodies of Reynold James of Lot 41 Charity and 87-year-old Bibi Shazeedh Jalleal of Little Alliance.
James, who was first to be buried, was handed over to the relatives of Jalleal with instructions that the coffin not be opened.
The Basir family, who was taking care of the pensioner prior to her death, became aware that they had buried the wrong body on June 10. At the time they were preparing for a memorial service. James’ relatives were also finalizing his funeral arrangements.
The RHO assured that measures will be put in place to avoid a recurrence.

The Charity mortuary where the mix-up took place

During a meeting between the families and the region’s Police Commander, Crystal Robinson, it was agreed that James’ body will not be exhumed. Instead, prayers will be said at the spot where he was laid to rest while the other body was to be handed over to her relatives for burial.
Some of James’ relatives expressed discomfort with the arrangement which was approved by James’ brother. Guyana Chronicle was told that some were adamant that the body could have been exhumed since no documentation was given confirming that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Shelly Henry told this publication that her husband went to work in the interior and returned home with malaria. He later became very ill.
The woman insisted that he was not suffering from any COVID-related symptoms.
Dr. Ranjeev, during his discourse with members of the media, confirmed both persons had tested positive for the deadly virus. Because of this, their bodies were wrapped.
He used the opportunity to apologize to both families for the inconvenience that the mix-up caused.

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