Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Infant deaths: Swara Bhasker asks UP health minister to resign

Infant deaths: Swara Bhasker asks UP health minister to resign

Adityanath said he was also anxious about "the rise of swine flu, dengue, chikungunya and other illnesses" in the state, and that the government was making special provisions to fight these diseases.

Almost 60 children have died in the past five days in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital, forcing Uttar Pradesh government to launch a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

Local media have claimed that some of the deaths were due to a shortage of oxygen which occurred after a supplier withdrew equipment as a result of unpaid bills.

The BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur did not specify the cause of death, but said 34 of babies who died were at the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis.

In a hurriedly-convened press conference in Lucknow, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that a committee led by the chief secretary will probe the entire matter.

The hospital is the largest in Gorakhpur district, which for years has been the parliamentary constituency of the state's Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Most of the deaths were of children admitted to the neonatal and encephalitis wards. "How can the government claim that deaths happened due to any disease without carrying out autopsies or any probe?" he questioned. The government had suspended the principal of the medical college Dr. R.K.Mishra on charges of laxity.

The SP leader further said that the government is not working as it should. "Assure you, if anyone's negligence caused the death of a person, in any part of UP, he won't be spared", Adityanath added.

The UP government has asked all the medical colleges to ensure that there is no shortage of medicines or oxygen, an official said Sunday. His resignation was confirmed by the state health minister. As per reports, Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh today said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered from him to have an in depth look into the Gorakhpur tragedy. He had inspected the paediatric ward, visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). The doctors and hospital staff knew that the supply could be maintained through emergency cylinders, but only for two hours.

Mritunjaya Singh, whose seven-month-old son was at the hospital but was not among the dead, said: 'That's the time when the death of the children peaked'.

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