Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: UP govt promises 'stringent' action

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

The shortage of oxygen allegedly led to encephalitis, which is a sudden onset inflammation of the brain, following which the children died.

State health minister Sidharthnath Singh claimed that during the past three years the death of children due to encephilites in August was between 19 to 22 per day but this year it was just around 10 death this August in the first 12 days.

Adityanath also lashed out at the media, saying instead of "doing fake reporting" from outside the hospital without knowing the facts, they "should visit the wards, see the arrangements made for the patients, including the supply of oxygen".

Multiple local media reports said the children died after the company that was supplying oxygen stopped the service, apparently over non-payment of dues amounting to over US$50,000 (S$68,000). "A total of 30 deaths occurred in the past 48 hours", he added.

Prashant Trivedi, the state's top health official, admitted there was a problem in the pipeline supplying oxygen.

Spending on public health in India, relative to the country's GDP, is among the lowest in the world.

Indicating Japanese Encephalitis as the possible cause, he said, "Our war is with Encephalitis.and for that soon after coming to power we have started vaccination on a large scale".

Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday noted that Gorakhpur Hospital tragedy clearly reflects the failure of the state government and demanded that Yogi Adityanath immediately resign as Chief Minister. "The ongoing probe would reveal why the supply was disrupted", Singh said, while addressing reporters.

The Chief Minister of the state, Yogi Adityanath, a saffron-robed Hindu priest, is the elected Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur.

Rajeev Rautela, Gorakhpur District Magistrate denies that the incident was caused due to lack of oxygen supply. Of these, 129 children had died, said Satish Chandra, a hospital spokesman. The tragedy has been condemned as a "massacre" and the step from the government comes after the provincial administration got battered by allegations of criminal negligence by rights groups and opposition parties.

Congress Vice President also tweeted about children dying in the hospitals on Friday, August 11.

It also took a dig at Prime Minister Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, after the UP Government blamed the sanitary conditions for the death of the children.

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