Gorakhpur: The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended the head of the hospital, where 63 children, many of them newborns, have died even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister blamed it on lack of cleanliness and diseases and not due to lack of oxygen.
Two ministers from the Adityanth government - Siddharth Nath Singh (Health) and Ashutosh Tandon (Medical Education) reached the medical college today to take stock of the situation.
Flanked by Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and the state Health and Medical Education Ministers at a press conference, Adityanath asserted that stringent action will be taken against those found guilty.
Another distraught father, Deep Chandra from Basti district also aired similar sentiments and said that for the last 48 hours, there was no oxygen supply and the children admitted here were left to die despite prayers and requests to the officials of the medical college.
Rajeev Rautela, Gorakhpur District Magistrate denies that the incident was caused due to lack of oxygen supply. The remaining 23 deaths took place from midnight of 9 August to on August 10.
The opposition Congress Party's Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter: "Deeply pained".
Seventeen of the 30 children died in the neo-natal ward, 5 in AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward and 8 in the general ward.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday dispatched two Cabinet Ministers to the hospital. The hospital authorities are accusing the supplier of disrupting the liquid Oxygen's supply.
"The company supplying oxygen had informed the principal that it would stop the supply if payment was not made and the government must be aware that the deaths have been caused due to a shortage of oxygen", he said. The families of the children died are blaming the hospital authorities for not providing proper treatment and medication.
The family had rushed the newborn to the hospital from neighbouring Siddharthnagar district on August 9 because he had a high fever.
"Our heart goes out to the families of all those young children, who have perished due to sheer negligence or who have died due to sheer negligence", Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.
Tandon also assured of a high level probe into the multiple deaths, headed by the Principal Secretary.
According to data procured from the BRD hospital, in past five days - from August 7 to August 11, a total of 60 deaths have occurred in the hospital.
"The government is responsible for the deaths of these children", he said.
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