Indian News

No poisonous substance in viscera of Bhopal man who died after Covaxin trial

Source: , Posted On:   04 February 2021

No poisonous substance in viscera of Bhopal man who died after Covaxin trial

Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

No poisonous substance in viscera of Bhopal man who died after Covaxin trial

Deepak Marawi’s post-mortem report earlier concluded that cardio-respiratory failure as a result of suspected poisoning led to his death

By Shruti Tomar

PUBLISHED ON FEB 04, 2021 10:44 AM IST

No poisonous substance was found in the viscera report of Deepak Marawi, 42, the Bhopal resident who died of suspected poisoning nine days after taking part in the Phase III trials of India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin in December. Marawi’s death came to light on January 9 when his family blamed his participation in the trial for it.

Marawi’s post-mortem report earlier concluded that cardio-respiratory failure as a result of suspected poisoning led to his death. The viscera report confirmed the presence of ethyl alcohol and omeprazole, an antacid, in his body.

Viscera samples comprise internal organs preserved to ascertain the cause of death in cases where autopsies are inconclusive. They can be tested for various drugs and poisons.

Madhya Pradesh’s medico-legal department head Ashok Sharma said if the viscera report did not confirm any poisonous substance in the body, it does not mean that he did not consume any poison. “Due to a fast metabolic process, it is hard to confirm the presence of some poisonous substances.” Sharma said Marawi might have had alcohol that upset his stomach. “He had taken omeprazole to treat his upset stomach. But it is hard to confirm anything.”

Marawi’s son, Akash, said he wants justice. “He [Marawi] was jobless and went for clinical trials to earn money. He did not have any money to purchase alcohol. He did not go anywhere after the trial. So, we are sure that he did not consume any alcohol.” He added it is their right to know the real cause of his death to ensure punishment for those responsible for it.

Activist Rachna Dhingra questioned how a man could die of suspected poisoning without consuming poison. “The government should answer this question. Instead of taking required action to stop the vaccination and to probe the real cause of death Marawi, the state government was seen defending People’s Medical College and Bharat Biotech.”

Bharat Biotech International Limited, the Covaxin maker, has said Marawi’s death was unrelated to the dose administered to him at the medical college.

Rajesh Kapur, the head of the college who earlier said Marawi fulfilled criteria for trails and was reported to be healthy during a follow-up, refused to comment on the viscera report.

State medical education minister Vishwas Sarang said they will take forensic science experts’ views even as police were also investigating the matter.

Deputy police inspector general Irshad Wali said they have received the report and were investigating the matter.