Congress delegation visits BRD Medical College, leaders demand resignation of Health Minister

Sunday, 13 Aug, 2017

Later, the chief of the hospital was suspended by the Yogi goverment.

Sixty-three children have lost their lives due to encephalitis and reported lack of oxygen supply at the BRD Medical college in five days, of whom many were infants, and 30 of the deaths were reported in the last 48 hours.

"The current government is responsible for the deaths of children in Gorakhpur due to the lack of oxygen". Hospital authorities have rejected the alleged reasons. "The kin of the dead were handed over the bodies and chased away".

Congress president Sonia Gandhi who expressed her grief towards the families who lost their children due to "medical negligence", urged the UP government to take immediate action against the ones responsible.

Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has also called for a strict investigation into matter demanding Rs 20 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased children.

The letter was written to the hospital authorities on August 3 and 10 informing them about the shortage of oxygen cylinders as Pushpa Sales stopped supply over pending payment.

He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enquired about the situation and assured all central help.

Sixteen years ago on August 6, 2001, the Moideen Badusha Mental Home in Erwadi witnessed one of the worst hospital tragedies, where 28 patients in the mental asylum died in an inferno when they failed to escape the wards. He had even inaugurated a ten bed ICU, a six bed Critical Care Unit. Opposition parties were raising the issue as the government was shying away from its responsibilities, he said.

Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajiv Rautela has also given a breakup of the casualties.

The deaths occurred due to various reasons including infections arising out of encephalitis.

"When we came to know about the shortage of oxygen and the deaths following it, we supplied around 200-300 cylinders to the hospital out of humanity", Praveen Modi told ANI. "But there was existing alternative arrangement of 50 oxygen cylinders which was being used, so there was no shortage of oxygen", he said. An action will be taken after a due report is taken out. However, doctors claimed that he had already resigned after the incident. "Those found guilty won't be spared".

A six-member SP team, led by the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Ram Govind Chaudhary, has been asked to submit its report to the party chief by August 13. Over the years, there have been a number of other such gut-wrenching tragedies resulting in high death tolls.