In a tragic incident, 30 children died since Thursday in Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College. This comes after allegations of oxygen cylinder shortage in the hospital after it was unable to pay dues to the supplier.
This incident has taken the total number of children’s deaths in the district to 60 in the last five days.
The hospital allegedly owes Rs 70 lakh to a private contractor who stopped supplying oxygen cylinders due to non-payment of dues.
Seven children have died at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in the last one day. The maximum, 23 died on August 10.
The Uttar Pradesh government denied the charge, saying alternative arrangements for oxygen supply were made and the patients died of various medical reasons and illnesses.
But according to PTI, a Union home ministry statement that quoted the Gorakhpur police superintendent said 21 children died because of shortage of oxygen.
The Baba Raghav Das Medical College is the largest hospital in Gorakhpur which is chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s constituency, and he took stock of arrangements at the encephalitis wards two days ago during a visit.
UP's medical education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said that the district magistrate of Gorakhpur had ordered an investigation and the report will be out within 24 hours.
State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said adding, "Chief Minister visited the BMD hospital on August 9, doctors there did not make him aware of oxygen shortage." Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has this morning ordered an inquiry into the tragedy. "Those responsible will not be spared," he added.
District magistrate Rajeev Rautela said in press conference, “We have been told that BRD witnessed disturbance in liquid oxygen supply since last night as firm withdrew supply owing to non-payment,” he said.
“The BRD principal told us that out of an outstanding of Rs 70 lakh, Rs 35 lakh was paid to the Lucknow-based firm. But it denied receiving the money.”
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress sought the resignation of state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh and compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the families of each deceased kid.
"I am pained beyond words by the tragic deaths of 30 children in Gorakhpur. My heart goes out to their families," said Congress President Sonia Gandhi this morning.
Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav shot a tweet on the tragedy.
गोरखपुर मे आक्सीजन की कमी से बच्चों की दर्दनाक मौत , सरकार ज़िम्मेदार।कठोर कार्यवाही हो, 20-20 लाख का मुआवज़ा दे सरकार ।— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) August 11, 2017
Congress Vice President also tweeted about children dying in the hospitals on Friday, August 11.
Deeply pained.My thoughts are with the families of the victims.BJP govt is responsible & should punish the negligent,who caused this tragedy https://t.co/rdwDJblJEj— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) August 11, 2017