UP government orders inquiry, suspends medical college principal

A child at encephalitis ward. Image Courtesy ANI  Twitter

A child at encephalitis ward. Image Courtesy ANI Twitter

"According to the Gorakhpur SP, 21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen in BRD Medical College".

Reasoning themselves, the Human Resource official of the firm Pushpa Walia told ANI on Saturday that BRD has three oxygen suppliers.

He also alleged that the hospital authorities tried to hide the seriousness of the incident.

Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla said on Friday at least 10 of the children at BRD Medical College, the largest in Gorakhpur, had died because of encephalitis. The Congress today also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

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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 report also says that the company's owner is on the run.

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said a Samajwadi Party delegation will visit the hospital.

He added that the deaths "could be (due to) natural (causes), as many patients admitted at the hospital are serious". He had even inaugurated a ten bed ICU, a six bed Critical Care Unit.

He said a probe, led by the state chief secretary, had been ordered. "A team has been set up to look into the matter".

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"This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of the state government".

Singh accepted that there was a payment issue with the liquid oxygen supplier but added that there was no shortage of gas cylinders at the hospital, which were used as back-ups.

"I did so completely on humanitarian grounds", he said, and denied reports that he had disrupted the oxygen supply over non-payment of dues. Strick action is now taken in every hospital.

"30 kids died in hospital without oxygen". However, doctors claimed that he had already resigned after the incident. He has rushed two top ministers, including health minister Sidharth Nath Singh to Gorakhpur.

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However, Siddharth has ensured proper investigation by setting up an inquiry committee to examine the case and said the culprits would be booked if found guilty. He urged the Opposition parties to not politicise the tragic deaths. Over the years, there have been a number of other such gut-wrenching tragedies resulting in high death tolls. Rautela was quoted by PTI as saying that 17 children died in the neo-natal ward, five in the AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward and eight in the general ward.

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