In a shocking incident, at least 30 children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College during the last 48 hours, district magistrate Rajeev Rautela said today, without giving any reasons for the deaths.
He said 17 children died in the neo-natal ward, 5 in AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward and 8 in the general ward.
The hospital is in chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s constituency and he took stock of arrangements at encephalitis wards during his recent two-day visit to Gorakhpur.
The incident comes two days after CM Yogi Adityanath visited the hospital to review its functioning.
The Uttar Pradesh government has denied that the deaths were caused by shortage of oxygen. Earlier, media reports had stated oxygen shortage as the reason behind the deaths.
“What media has reported it does not appear same to us. A final picture will be clear after a report on it comes,” said state health minister Siddharthnath Singh.
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There have also been reports of hospital dues to the tune of Rs 66 lakh to the company that supplied oxygen. According to a report in India TV, a technician at the hospital had informed authorities of the shortage in oxygen levels, but wasn’t paid heed to.
The BRD Medical College and Hospital is a specialty hospital frequented by many in the region that is prone to cases of encephalitis. Gorakhpur has witnessed at least 114 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) this year.
According to a report in The Indian Express, 16 new cases of AES and three deaths were reported from BRD Medical College on August 7. The report added that the hospital and district health officials claimed that the situation was much better than the previous years.