August 12, 2017, 8:05 am
30 children and infants have died in less than 48 hours at a hospital in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur district that was facing shortage of liquid oxygen. "This is extremely unfortunate," BJP's Lok Sabha member Kamlesh Paswan who carried out an inspection at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College said.
Of the 30 deaths, 17 have died in the neo-natal intensive care unit, eight in the paediatric ward and five in the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome ward.
The medical college is the largest hospital in Gorakhpur district that has been Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's parliamentary constituency for years, reports NDTV.
Initial reports had linked some of the deaths in the hospital to shortage of oxygen but the state government insists there was no connection between the two. The district administration made the same point but admitted that supply of liquid oxygen had been disrupted due to delay in payments by the hospital.
"Since the medical college officials told us that there was alternative oxygen supply, therefore the charge of lack of oxygen supply can be ruled out," Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela told reporters.
He said alternative arrangements had been made from neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar district to ensure availability of liquid oxygen for the hospital. Asked if the firm supplying oxygen had stopped oxygen supply due to delay in payments, he said part payment had been made to the company for supply of oxygen to the hospital.
BJP leader Kamlesh Paswan, however, conceded that there were problems at the hospital.
"From what I saw, daily 7-8, or 10 patients have been dying in the medical college... There are problems," he said, pointing that in some wards, he had seen as many as four patients sharing a bed.