Shanghai nursing home resident taken to morgue in body bag is found to still be alive

  • Shanghai Xinchangzheng Nursing Home declared a resident dead and took him to the morgue in a body bag before realizing he was still alive.
  • Video footage of the incident, which occured on Sunday afternoon, shows workers in protective suits pulling a body bag out of the mortuary van shortly before yelling, “Alive! Did you see that? Alive!”
  • The incident was confirmed by the Putuo district government, and five individuals have been put under investigation, including the nursing home director and a doctor involved. 
  • The horrifying incident sparked backlash among people in China and raised further concerns over the dysfunctional handling of Shanghai's citywide lockdown.

A Shanghai nursing home resident was mistakenly declared dead and put into a body bag, only to later be found alive at the morgue. 

A video taken by a Shanghai resident on Sunday afternoon showed several workers in protective suits carrying a body bag out of a mortuary van. The man’s head then appeared from the bag, and a worker shouted that he was still alive, while another yelled not to close the bag. 

“Alive! Did you see that? Alive!” one of the workers shouted. “Do not cover him again!” another worker can be heard yelling

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The resident filming the video can be heard saying: “The nursing home is such a mess. They sent a living person on a hearse and said they were dead. The undertaker staff said they were still moving … It is irresponsible, really irresponsible.”

In response to the viral video posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo, many users expressed they were horrified by the incident, criticizing the nursing home and sharing concerns over the dysfunctional handling of Shanghai’s strict, citywide lockdown. 

One user asked, “What if this incident was not captured by the citizens of Shanghai?” while another wrote, “This counts as intentional homicide.”

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The shocking incident was confirmed by the Putuo district government, and five individuals are currently being investigated. The nursing home director has been removed from his position, and a doctor involved has had his certification revoked. Three officials from the district’s civil affairs bureau and social development office have also been removed.

The Shanghai Xinchangzheng Nursing Home has also apologized and awarded the employees who noticed that the man was still alive with 5,000 yuan (about $756) each.

Although more than 15 million residents were finally allowed to leave their homes on Saturday,  as of today, over 8.2 million residents remain quarantined at home. The mass lockdown has caused several issues in China, including food shortages and delivery issues. Beijing has also seen a rise in case numbers, leading authorities to require more than 20 million residents to take three more COVID tests this week on top of tests already taken last week.

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Featured Image via @fangshimin

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