Infant deaths in Gorakhpur: UP government orders inquiry, suspends medical college principal

NEW DELHI: A probe has been ordered and the chief of the largest hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur has been suspended for the tragic death of over 60 children in the last five days, including many newborn babies.

The children died allegedly due to shortage of oxygen at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, which also happens to be the Lok Sabha constituency of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

At a press briefer, the state government claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen and cited high figures of child deaths in the month of August due to encephalitis.

Speaking over the issue, UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said: “This is very serious and sensitive matter. We have taken all necessary steps to probe the matter. To understand the matter, I would like to quote some figures. In August 2014, 567 children died and in August 2015, 668 kids died.”

Rejecting charges of shortage of oxygen at the hospital, Singh said the oxygen was available and supplied through other means.

“However, gas cylinders were not available, but the Oxygen was being supplied through ambu bags and other means. There was no shortage of gas supply,” he said.

“Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the BDS Hospital on July 9. Nobody informed him about the shortage of Oxygen in the hospital,” he said.

The government has also ordered an inquiry. “We have ordered an inquiry under the chairmanship of chief secretary and the BRD medical college principal has been suspended for negligence,” Ashutosh Tandon, medical and education minister said.