60 kids die in five days in Gorakhpur hospital

The BRD Medical College at Gorakhpur. Wikimedia Commons

At least 30 children died since Thursday in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College amid allegations that a private contractor stopped supplying oxygen cylinders as the government-run hospital hasn't paid dues of about Rs 70 lakh.

Earlier in the day, the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital claimed lives of three more children.

In a tweet 6 hours ago from the time of publication of this report, the office of the UP CM said that Yogi Adityanath had directed his officials to probe the incident and take strict action against the responsible employees at the medical college.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the Yogi Adityanath government of covering up the facts.

Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela said: "No death in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, has taken place due to shortage of oxygen supply".

On Friday state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said,"What media has reported it does not appear same to us".

BRD Medical Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla denied the deaths had been caused by a lack of oxygen supplies when asked by Reuters.

He had inspected the paediatric ward, visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, feels heartbroken for the innocent ones who became pray for negligence by the hospital authorities.

Acknowledging that there were some payment issues with the oxygen supplier firm, Siddharth Nath said the matter was not raised by the hospital during Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit on August 9. The deaths occurred due to suffocation as fire and smoke engulfed most wards in the hospital, as over 100 patients were being treated at the Intensive Care Unit. A person afflicted with encephalitis requires serious medical attention according to Medical News Today. The death of the children has been ordered to be investigated on a high level. "There are vector-borne diseases, such as encephalitis.It is a tragedy that lives of young children have been snuffed out because we do not lead a clean and hygienic life", he said and reminded the crowd that the disease has been the bane of eastern Uttar Pradesh since 1978.

In a statement, the hospital said "the pressure of the liquid oxygen supply became low" and that reserve cylinders were arranged, but did not specify whether that had resulted in any deaths and why so many children had died in just two days.

Sixty children died between August 7 and 11 in BRD Hospital, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

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