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Body was awaiting transfer to morgue: MOH


Jul 20, 2021 10:44:43 PM

Body was awaiting transfer to morgue: MOH Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong says the pictures circulating on social media of a dead person wrapped in plastic at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital were waiting to be transferred at the morgue.

Speaking exclusively to FijiLive Dr Fong said the dead body wrapped in plastic on a trolley was awaiting transfer.

He said he was aware of photos of a dead body wrapped in plastics have been circulating on social media, taken by patients admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

“I have to check where those photos are, I have only seen photos of dead people wrapped in plastic on trolleys at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

“No dead bodies have been left on the floor as claimed by some political parties, the morgue in Suva has racks that start from the floor,” he said.

Colonial War Memorial Hospital patient Shayal Chand is said to have made the claim in the video and said the body wrapped in plastic was left on a bed for more than five hours.

“The man who used to lie beside me died of coronavirus in the early hours of the morning, his body was kept wrapped by staff since 3 am,” said Chand.

“There is lack of facilities for sick at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and for us, people admitted at the outside tent we have forced to share a toilet both men and women.

“Also the Colonial War Memorial Hospital l is dirty, the Government has totally failed to protect its citizens during this coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

In another Social Media post, Esava Rokosuka said the body of his late grandmother was lost at the Suva morgue when the family went to retrieve it for burial.

“Please I urge the private company who is in charge of the mortuary in Suva to please look for my grandmother’s body,” said Rokosuka.

“We, the family could not finish our funeral program as her body is missing and we are still looking for the body. We need your help,” he said.

Dr Fong said he has not received any report but will check with the company manning the mortuary if a report has been lodged.

“I will have to check if a complaint has been lodged by the family of the deceased and a thorough investigation will take place,” he said.

According to the statistics released by the ministry more than 180 coronavirus positive patients have died since the outbreak started in April this year.

“Of this, 123 individuals have died of coronavirus since the outbreak of the delta variant started in April this year,” he said.

“51 coronavirus positive patients have died from other serious medical conditions that they had before they contracted the virus.

“There have been 343 new recoveries reported since the last update, which means that there are now 14,943 active cases,” he said.

“There have been 19,282 cases during the outbreak that started in April 2021. We have recorded a total of 19,352 cases in Fiji since the first case was reported in March 2020.

“A total of 4233 individuals have recovered from coronavirus since the first case was recorded in March last year,” he said

He said it was sad to note there was an increase of people dying of coronavirus at home in the last few days.

He said a delay in receiving appropriate medical treatment reduces peoples chances of recovering from the disease.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

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Last updated 23rd July 2021

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