Gorakhpur (UP): At least 60 children, including newborns, have died in the five days in a hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, due to alleged short supply of oxygen, reports said.
The incident has created an uproar in the state as at least 30 children have died in the last two days alone, forcing the government to order an investigation.
However the government has dismissed all claims that the deaths are somehow related to the short supply of oxygen.
Contrary to the state government’s claim, data shows otherwise.
At least 23 children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College on Aug 10, the very day that the firm which used to provide oxygen to the facility stopped doing so owing to a payment dispute.
“There have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen supply,” media quoted UP’s medical education Minister Ashutosh Tondon as saying.
He added that an investigation has been ordered by the District Magistrate and the report will be out within the next 24 hours.
“Those responsible will not be spared,” State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said. “Chief Minister visited the BMD hospital on August 9, doctors there did not make him aware about oxygen shortage.”
An inquiry has also been ordered by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, decoding the deaths, BJP lawmaker Kamlesh Pashwan said, “An average 8-10 patients die every day in this hospital, which gets a large number of encephalitis patients.”
Following the incident, the incumbent BJP-ruled state government has come under fire from the opposition.
“Families of the dead were sent off with the bodies, they did not even do autopsies… extremely unfortunate,” Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi too condemned the incident.
Gandhi was quoted in the media as saying, “I am pained beyond words by the tragic deaths of 30 children in Gorakhpur. My heart goes out to their families.”
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav took potshots at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his tweet.
Questioning the UP Chief Minister’s competence, Yadav tweeted, “Pained to hear abt loss of innocent lives in #Gorakhpur hospital. Total incompetence & negligence of Yogi govt. Culprits must be punished.”
–India Blooms News Service