Shanghai nursing home resident in body bag discovered to be alive

The nursing home had arranged for the body to be sent to a morgue.

Fiona Tan | May 05, 2022, 03:43 AM

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An elderly nursing home resident was apparently erroneously put into a body bag while alive.

Morgue was called to retrieve body

Several videos of the incident were widely circulated on Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat.

According to Chinese News Weekly on Weibo, the incident occurred on May 1, 2022, in the afternoon.

Two men from a morgue dressed in blue personal protective equipment (PPE) were reportedly engaged to collect the body of a elderly nursing home resident.

A woman in a white medical coat, who worked at the nursing home in Putuo district in Shanghai, was also seen in the videos.

The two morgue personnel could be seen dragging out from a black hearse a yellow body bag containing the elderly nursing home resident's body.

The body bag was unloaded onto a stationary mortuary trolley.

The female nursing home staff could be seen waiting at the head of the trolley.

One of the morgue personnel then unzipped the body bag and stepped away, while the nursing home staff peered into the body bag.

The other morgue personnel opened the body bag further, and briefly lifted up a cloth-like material that was draped over the nursing home resident's head in the body bag.

"The person is alive. You saw that? The person is alive."

After he placed the cloth back down, he said: "The person is alive. You saw that? The person is alive."

The other morgue personnel then told the nursing home staff from a distance to stop covering the face of the nursing home resident with the cloth.

As this took place, the nursing home staff could be seen placing the cloth back over the nursing home resident's face and gingerly arranging it.

She then zipped the body bag back up and walked into the nursing home compound.

After speaking to two individuals in white PPE inside the nursing home, the female nursing home staff walked back out with one of the individuals and rolled the body bag and mortuary trolley back into the compound.

Nursing care resident's vitals stabilising

According to what appears to be a statement from the morgue on May 2, the nursing care resident was a 75-year-old elderly woman.

After the incident, she was sent to the hospital, where her vitals were reportedly stabilising.

Authorities investigating

The incident has sparked an uproar on Chinese social media platforms, where those online condemned the nursing home's failure and cried murder.

Local Chinese media reported that the municipal government confirmed the incident and said they have launched an investigation into the matter.

According to Chinese state media People's Daily, four individuals were subsequently dismissed from their positions.

This included the director of the nursing home and three officials from the district civil affairs bureau and social development office.

Additionally, the director of the district civil affairs bureau is being investigated, while a public security case has been opened against a doctor surnamed Tian, whose medical licence has been revoked.

Putuo's district authorities said they will share their findings once the investigation into the incident is completed.

Shanghai into fifth week of lockdown

It is unclear if the elderly nursing home resident was infected with Covid-19, or if she was vaccinated, according to Bloomberg.

However, a Weibo user noted: "The confidence crisis in the city is getting too bad."

Since Mar. 28, Shanghai has been in lockdown for the past five weeks and frustrations are mounting amongst the city's residents at the manner authorities have been handling the pandemic.

More Shanghai lockdown stories

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