64 deaths at UP hospital without oxygen

LUCKNOW: At least 64 children have died over six days at a government hospital in northern India that suffered oxygen shortages, officials said on Saturday.
Authorities have launched an inquiry into the causes of the oxygen disruption but denied reports that it had caused the deaths at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The state’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath blamed the incident for lack of cleanliness.
Addressing a gathering at Allahabad, Adityanath said that the death of these children in his hometown was caused by filth and scourge of open defecation.
“There are vector-borne diseases, such as encephalitis, you must be hearing media reports of BRD medical college these days… it is a tragedy that lives of young children have been snuffed out at such young age because we do not lead a clean and hygienic life” he said while reminding the crowd that the disease has been the bane of eastern Uttar Pradesh since 1978.
“Gandagi ki wajah se is desh ka baccha asamay kaal kalvit ho raha hai (Unclean surroundings are causing untimely death of children),” he said, while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how his Swacch Bharat mission aimed at ridding people of the dirty and filth around them. “The governments cannot be the problem, they are solutions and if they are problems in themselves they have no right to continue,” he added.
The media said 30 children died on Thursday and Friday because of the lack of oxygen on wards. Suppliers’ bills had allegedly not been paid.
“Sixty patients have died at the hospital in the last five days but we don’t think it’s linked to reports of oxygen shortage,” Anil Kumar, Gorakhpur’s divisional commissioner said.
State Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh announced later that four more deaths had been reported on Saturday, taking the toll to 64 over the six days starting on Monday. Singh denied that any of the deaths were linked to the oxygen shortage.
The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that Modi was “monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur” and was in touch with state authorities. — AFP/IANS

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