Supply shortage linked to death of 60 children in Indian hospital

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 12, 2017

District magistrate of Gorakhpur Rajeev Rautela had said on Friday that at least 30 children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College within 48 hours since August 10. "This is an example of gross criminal negligence of the BJP government", BSP chief Mayawati said in a release.

Addressing the media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, who briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day, said that he has asked a team of top ministers to determine if the death of the children was actually due to a disruption in oxygen supply at the hospital and assured to "not spare anyone found guilty".

Baba Raghav Das Medical College said 34 babies died at the hospital's neo-natal intensive care unit, 12 died because of encephalitis, and the rest died of other unspecified causes. Fresh cylinders were brought in at around 1:30 am on Fridday after the supply was disrupted at 11.30pm on Thursday, NDTV reported.

Officials in India are investigating why dozens of children have died at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh province in the past week and whether the spate of deaths is linked to a disruption in oxygen, a district magistrate said Friday.

A statement issued by the state Information Department late evening categorically denied reports shown by "some TV channels as misleading".

Further speaking about why they stopped the oxygen supply, the HR official further said that the hospital¿s Rs. 68.5 lakh payment is pending and the officials did not pay a heed to their letters and legal notice for the same.

The HT report suggested that the 3,000-odd deaths are among 50,000 children killed in eastern Uttar Pradesh over the past three decades, a lot of them due to Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). On Thursday, the center pipeline operator had informed in writing that the reading of Liquid Oxygen is 900 and if the oxygen supply is not available at the time of time then the life of the patients will be in danger.

Multiple local media reports said numerous children died after the company which was supplying liquid oxygen stopped the service, apparently over non-payment of dues.

"We were not rushed here to conduct any inquiry as the state government is already doing that".

Congress leader and former Union Minister R.P.N. Singh said that the incident happened only due to the lapse of the BJP government.

India's main opposition Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi have expressed deep shock over the deaths. "Doctors are responsible for the incident", he said. "Probably, the company adhered to its threat resulting in lack of Oxygen supply", the source said.

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