Gorakhpur tragedy: Nadda seeks report from UP govt

At least 60 children have died over seven days at a state run hospital in Gorakhpur, 30 of them in the last two days allegedly due to shortage of oxygen supply.

Health activists said successive governments had ignored the threat posed by encephalitis as it was a disease that affected poor, malnourished children.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty.

Meanwhile, the local government denied deaths of the children due to lack of oxygen cylinders in the hospital.

The incident comes barely two days after the visit of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the hospital to review its functioning. Same goes for Health Minister. But hospital sources inform that hospital administration was aware of oxygen shortage, but it never paid any attention to it. We sent letters to everyone, including Principal Secretary and Director General.

"We will be getting more liquid oxygen cylinders tonight or tomorrow, and have also cleared the dues of the supplier", district official Kumar told AFP.

"That's the time when the death of the children peaked", said Mritunjaya Singh, whose 7-month-old son was admitted to the hospital and was not among the dead. "As per SP Gorakhpur, 21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen in BRD Medical College, in last 36 hours".

According to the authorities in BRD Medical College, Pushpa Sales facilitates the oxygen supply to the hospital.

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He also said that there had been a delay in payment to the oxygen vendor by the college authorities and a probe has been ordered for this too. It's a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?,' Kailash Satyarthi said in a post on social media.

"The government is responsible for the deaths of these children", he said. He said he had ascertained from the doctors that the deaths had not occurred from a lack of oxygen.

"Even as 90 jumbo oxygen cylinders were pressed into service to maintain the supply on Friday, the hospital ran out of oxygen around 1.00am", the newspaper report said.

State government officials in TV appearances chastised opposition leaders for seeking to politicize the issue. The remaining 23 deaths took place from midnight of 9 August to on August 10.

"The health minister should resign on moral grounds". Scores of Samajwadi Party workers demonstrated in front of the medical college today.

Singh is grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. UP Congress chief Raj Babbar had also made the same comment as Yadav.

"The shortage of oxygen was not highlighted". We have taken all necessary steps to probe the matter.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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