"The Public Prosecutor's Office, having received from the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve [CHUA] documentation related to the matter, ordered the initiation of an investigation", a source from the Attorney General's Office told Lusa.

According to a press release by the CHUA board of directors, the exchange in the identification of two patients who died at Hospital de Faro took place on November 3.

According to the hospital - which includes the units in Faro, Portimão and Lagos -, the situation led to one of the bodies being improperly collected by the funeral home and later cremated.

Following this occurrence, the CHUA board of directors opened an internal investigation and “made their positions available”, according to the same note.

The case also led the Health Regulatory Entity (ERS) to open an evaluation process to the circumstances in which the exchange of corpses took place.

The CHUA administration assured that the procedure for confirming and verifying the identity of the deceased in the hospital “obeys several safety standards, well defined in the institution, with the investigation intending to determine the facts that led to the error and implement changes that appear to be as necessary”.

The hospital's management said that it contacted the families, "deeply regretting what happened and having provided all the necessary psychological support".