Indian News

Bhopal: Viscera test finds alcohol, family says he didn't drink

Source: , Posted On:   04 February 2021

Bhopal: Viscera test finds alcohol, family says he didn’t drink | Bhopal News - Times of India

BHOPAL: The viscera report of Covaxin trial volunteer Deepak Marawi, who died on December 22, was released on Wednesday but it only triggered more questions. It mentions ethyl alcohol but his family insists he was a teetotaler.
The viscera test was conducted by Regional Forensic Science Laboratory in Bhopal. Explaining the results, Dr Arun Shrivastava, pharmacology professor at Gandhi Medical College (GMC), said: “On the basis of the viscera report, there appears to be no connection between Marawi’s death and the vaccine. This is my personal opinion. From my professional standpoint, I must reiterate I’m not even giving it a clean chit. It is a call to be taken by the government and other authorities. There is a possibility the deceased consumed alcohol and died due to it.”
The initial autopsy, carried out at GMC, had suspected poisoning.
Marawi’s son, however, said he never took alcohol. His family is not satisfied with the viscera report and even alleges that the signatures shown on the consent form are not his.
The report mentions two finds — ethyl alcohol and omeprazole. While omeprazole is usually given as a medicine for acid reflux and indigestion, doctors told TOI that alcohol may be indicative of liquor consumption, but it may well be produced in the body after decomposition.
‘Cops must investigate meds taken by deceased’
Marawi, 45, whose family lives in Old Bhopal’s Teela Jamalpura, was a volunteer in the Covaxin trials and took the first dose on December 12 at People's Medical College. It isn’t known if he was given the vaccine or a placebo. Marawi’s son said his health started deteriorating a week later. He began vomiting and felt weak. His condition worsened on December 21, and he was taken to Hamidia Hospital where he died.
Marawi’s death triggered a controversy, with questions on ‘adverse effects’ of the vaccine, and allegations that SOPs weren’t followed and that the poor were being used as guinea pigs.
Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer, issued a statement that preliminary reviews indicate the death was “unrelated to the study dosing”, and said that Marawi’s son had reported the death to People’s Medical College. The hospital, too, said that death was due to “other reasons, and not severe adverse effect”.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also weighed in and said, “The viscera has been sent for examination. The side effects of any vaccine are seen within two to three days, and not after such a long period.” On January 10, a government probe said ICMR protocol had been followed in the clinical trial.
On Wednesday, after the viscera report was released, Madhya Pradesh Medico Legal Institute director Dr Ashok Sharma said: “One of the things that came out in the report is medicine acidity. It is now the job of police to investigate all types of medicines being taken by Deepak Marawi. Police should also talk to the doctors who prescribed the medicines to him.” Radheshyam Raigar, SHO of Teela Jamalpura police station, said they are yet to get a copy of the report.