Soldiers, Police ‘Arrest’ Dead Body …Over COVID Dispute
There was pandemonium at Binde Hospital in the Bunkprugu/Nakpanduri District following a dispute over the cause of death between hospital officials and relatives of the deceased.
The deceased was suspected to have died of coronavirus on Saturday dawn shortly after he was rushed to the hospital. He was a native of a nearby community in the district and had traveled back from Kumasi.
Although the body was to be taken away by the family members, the hospital officials refused to release it insisting to follow the laid down protocols for bodies suspected or confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus disease.
The development led to a chaotic situation and shutdown of the facility before the Armed military and police personnel arrived to seized the body.
The body was subsequently seized and kept at an isolation facility at the hospital to be handed over to the district authorities of the Ghana Health Service.
When JoyNews got to the facility, the security men had blocked the entrance and driven out all occupants, including some admitted patients and their caregivers.
There was also a major disinfection exercise ongoing by the district environmental health unit.
Speaking to JoyNews, a sibling of the deceased, Andon Joshua, who insists his brother did not die of coronavirus rather accused the hospital staff of negligence which according to him led to the death of his brother.
He said, the hospital staff refused to attend to his brother and fled the facility upon seeing the condition in which he was brought to the facility.
“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.
In defense, a hospital staff who spoke to JoyNews anonymously said they had to take that action because there were no PPEs at the time the patient was brought in.
Head of the District Environmental Health Unit, Joseph Ajakpah, told JoyNews the department has also been involved to assist relatives of the deceased in the management and burial of the body.