A covid-19 patient mistaken to be dead at an elderly care centre in Shanghai and sent to a morgue where he was found alive before cremation.
The news has prompted authorities to launch an investigation into the shocking incident that triggered a new wave of anguish in the locked-down city.
Videos circulating widely on Chinese social media showed two men, who appeared to be morgue workers, with a yellow body bag outside the Shanghai Xinchangzheng welfare hospital in Putuo district on Sunday.
The men, in protective clothing, was seen unzipping the bag in front of an employee from the facility and insisting that the person is still alive, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
One worker can be heard saying: “You come here and see if he’s dead? He is still breathing! Didn’t you see he’s moving?”
Another reportedly says: “He is alive, don’t cover his face ever again.”
The staff member then checks for signs of life and reseals the bag, against the protests of bystanders fearing the patient will suffocate.
According to the video, the staff member next returned to the centre to deliberate with two people in white hazmat suits before the elderly patient is seen being wheeled back into the facility.
Putuo’s Civil Affairs Bureau has confirmed the mix-up and set up an investigation task force, pledging to severely punish those accountable, the Post report quoted state broadcaster CCTV.
The elderly patient has been hospitalised and is in a stable condition, the report said.