An investigation has been ordered into an incident where the relatives of a deceased 20-year-old tuberculosis patient alleged that ants were found crawling over his body.

The family of Rakesh More, who hailed from the Indian city of Pune, said he had been undergoing treatment at a government hospital for tuberculosis since Feb. 8, Hindustan Times reported.

More was declared dead Sunday afternoon. The relatives arrived at the hospital ward to claim the man's body over an hour later.

"Hospital authorities called us around 3 pm on Sunday and informed us about Rakesh More's death. By 4.30 pm, when our family members reached the ward, they found that there were ants all over his body," a close relative of More told The Times Of India.

The family alleged that ants were seen crawling out of the man's eyes. They claimed that another relative visited More sometime earlier, but there were no ants on him at that time. An oxygen mask covered with ants was also seen near him.

More's family immediately approached the hospital staff, demanding that they clean the body. However, the nurse did not relent and delayed moving the body to the morgue, the outlet reported.

However, the hospital authorities said the body could not be moved to the morgue as the relatives failed to sign a mandatory clearance form.

Though they confirmed the presence of ants, the hospital claimed they had not attacked the man's body. "There were indeed ants, as confirmed by our nurses. However, it was not on the body, but in the bed, and maybe those ants crawled over the body. The patient was on saline and was being given milk, both of which have sugar," hospital chief Dr. Shakira Sawaskar told Hindustan Times.

A similar incident was reported a few months earlier wherein the husband of a paralytic COVID-19 patient alleged that ants were seen crawling out of the woman's mouth. He alleged that she was neglected inside a hospital ICU. The shocking case of medical negligence occurred in the Indian city of Vadodara.

The footage of the woman in a dire state, and another showing her husband questioning the hospital staff about their apparent indifference did rounds on social media after the incident came to light.

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