Gorakhpur tragedy: UP CM Yogi Adityanath promises stringent action

The BRD Medical College at Gorakhpur. Wikimedia Commons

UP's medical education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said that the district magistrate of Gorakhpur had ordered an investigation and the report will be out within 24 hours. According to data procured from the BRD hospital, from August 7 to August 11, a total of 60 deaths have occurred in the hospital. Sources said the supply of oxygen to the hospital was stopped on Thursday night due to non-payment of dues to the firm engaged in supplying oxygen to the hospital.

Atleast 63 kids died in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College, due to lack of facilities.

Union Minister Patel present at the press conference said that the central government is ready to give full support to the state.

Around 400 children suffering from encephalitis were battling for their lives in the hospital.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Lok Sabha constituency of Gorakhpur has seen at least 114 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) this year alone.

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Earlier in the day, Congress delegation paid a visit to Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College to get a first hand knowledge of the incident.

"By making the college principal a scapegoat, the state government is trying to absolve itself of all responsibility", Mayawati said. "There was inadequate oxygen supply for those 2 hours, but the administration had ensured that there is no shortage of cylinders at the hospital", the health minister added.

Prashant Trivedi, the state's top health official, admitted there has been a problem in the pipeline which supplied oxygen.

Two days ago, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the paediatric ward of the hospital and also inaugurated the ICU, Critical Care Unit and visited the ward where children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus were being treated. "Yes, 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.

"Kins of the deceased were shooed away after handing over dead bodies to them", he said. "Heart-wrenching incident. Saddened by children's death". Critics have blamed the oxygen shortage for some of the deaths - a claim the hospital has denied. The tragic incident has paved way for another political blame game as Congress demands the resignation of state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh.

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