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Oxygen runs out at Indian hospital, over 60 children dead
August 12, 2017, 8:48 am

Atleast 60 children, newborn babies among them, have died over the past 5 days in a hospital in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in what appears to be a case of medical negligence.

The dead ranged from babies to 12-year-olds.

It’s a massacre not a tragedy, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Friday reacting to the incident.

About 200 kms east of state capital Lucknow, in the town of Gorakhpur, the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College reported a shortage of oxygen supply on Thursday.

Local media reports said on Thursday that the deaths were owing to this oxygen shortage which occurred after a private supplier stopped its supply over unpaid hospital dues.

According to hospital records, 7 children died on Friday, 23 died on Thursday, 9 on Wednesday, and 12 on Tuesday, 9 on Monday.

Local officials have denied that the deaths are linked to a lack of oxygen supply.

Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla said on Friday at least 10 of the children at BRD Medical College, the largest in Gorakhpur, had died because of encephalitis. The rest had died from “delivery-related issues”, he added.

Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela said on Friday: “No death in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, has taken place due to shortage of oxygen supply. Only seven deaths have taken place at the BRD Medical College today and these were due to different medical reasons.”

The ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is also governing the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The Chief Minister of the state, Yogi Adityanath, a saffron-robed Hindu priest, is the elected Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur. On Saturday, Adityanath ordered a high-level probe into the incident.

Adityanath represented the ruling BJP during the Uttar Pradesh state polls earlier this year, and helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi consolidate power as he bids for re-election in a national ballot in 2019.

Opposition Congress Party state chief Raj Babbar said that the horrific incident shows the “insensitivity of the state government”.

“The government is responsible for the deaths of these children,” he said.

On Friday, the private firm Pushpa Gas Agency, said they had repeatedly written to the authorities about pending hospital dues.

“We repeatedly communicated about pending payments to concerned authorities but never got response,” Meenu Walia, official at Pushpa Gas Agency told Indian news agency ANI.



One Response to Oxygen runs out at Indian hospital, over 60 children dead

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