A newborn girl, declared dead by a doctor at Dhaka Medical College Hospital early yesterday, was found alive hours later, just before she was about to be buried at a city graveyard.
The doctor declared the premature baby dead minutes after Shahinur Akter, 27, gave birth to her around 4:45am after six and a half months' pregnancy.
"There was no pulse after her premature birth, and so she was declared dead," DMCH Director Brig Gen AKM Nasir Uddin told The Daily Star.
He added that the baby was readmitted to the hospital and was doing well.
"We will investigate the incident," he said.
The father of the baby, Yeasin Mollah, a driver by profession, told this paper that hospital staffers put the "dead" baby in an abandoned box of hand gloves and asked Yeasin to take her to Azimpur graveyard for burial.
Yeasin took the baby to Azimpur graveyard, but since he did not have the Tk 1,500 it would take for the burial there, he was advised to go to Rayerbazar graveyard where the burial cost is comparatively lower.
A graveyard staffer at Rayerbazar told him that it would cost Tk 500.
"As I agreed, a grave was dug. But minutes before the burial, the box jerked and she showed signs of movement inside," Yeasin said. "I opened the box and found my baby alive. She was moving and opening her mouth," he said.
Yeasin then rushed the baby straight back to DMCH again.
"The on-duty doctor and nurse of Ward No. 211 said there is no vacant seat to admit the baby and asked me to take her to another hospital," Yeasin alleged.
The baby was however admitted after Yeasin refused to take the baby elsewhere as he did not have the money to treat her in a private hospital.
"We are very poor… Besides, how could they declare a living baby dead?" Yeasin, also the father of another nine-year-old daughter, asked.