Man who died from COVID-19 buried by wrong family; other family seeks exhumation
By Isanella Patoir
A Water Street, Bagotstown, East Bank Demerara family is seeking closure and answers after their 35-year-old relative, Wazim Ray Ramjattan, was mistakenly identified by another family and buried.
Ramjattan died from COVID-19 while at the Georgetown Public Hospital on March 29, 2021. But it was not until two weeks later when the family was finally able to go identify the body at the Memorial Gardens Funeral Home at La Repentir, Georgetown, that they were shocked to find out his body had already been removed and buried.
An investigation then revealed that the body in the mortuary they were told is their relative was actually that of 44-year-old Inteaaz Umar of Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo (Region Three), who also passed away from COVID-19 on April 03, 2021.
The News Room understands that Umar’s relatives wrongfully identified Ramjattan’s body as his [Umar] and subsequently buried him on April 04.
Both men were Muslims.
Ramjattan’s wife, Devi Sukho, told the News Room that on March 29, her husband complained of shortness of breath and was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
“They [hospital] say he COVID positive and from there they didn’t allow we to see him or know where they take him,” the wife said.
The couple had one child together and according to the wife, her husband was healthy prior to complaining of shortness of breath. The family was subsequently informed by the hospital that Ramjattan passed away and that his body was taken to the funeral home.
However, Ramjattan’s sister, Nalini, claims that they were not allowed to identify the body the next day as a result of it being a COVID-19 death.
“We went to the mortuary and I asked the director who was working there if I could see my brother just a little and he said no that because he passed away from COVID I cannot see him,” Nalini explained.
Nalini further explained that she showed the director her brother’s national identification card and she was told that the body was there. Days later, the family was not still able to identify the body.
Then on April 09, 2021, they finally received the death certificate and proceeded to make the funeral arrangements through the Central Islamic Organisation (CIOG) for the next day, April 10.
“So we decide now to go and see him and when we go and see him is a wrong body we were getting to bury. Is a good thing we asked to see this person cause we would have put down a wrong body for we brother,” a stressed Nalini said.
Now the family is seeking justice and answers. According to Nalini they are being pushed around and no one is giving them answers.
“They got we running around like mad people…and we ain’t get no answer until now. We need somebody to look into this matter, please help us.”
In the meantime, the family is seeking to exhume Ramjattan’s body to give him his rightful burial.
Ramjattan worked as a porter with Sterling Products Limited and was described as very kind person.