Opposition Demand CM Yogi's Resignation After 63 Kids Die At UP Hospital

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

On Friday, it was reported that as many as 30 children lost their lives due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours at the hospital. After inaugurating a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit and a six-bed Critical Care Unit, he had visited a ward meant for children with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.

"That's the time when the death of the children peaked", said Mritunjaya Singh, whose seven-month old son was admitted to the hospital and was not among the dead.

While the recent deaths are being blamed on the possible disruption of oxygen supply in medical wards, the state government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident on Saturday. 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. He said he had ascertained from the doctors that the deaths had not occurred from a lack of oxygen. "The Health Minister's statement is irresponsible".

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

Of the 73 patients in the 100-bed encephalitis ward, 54 were on ventilator when the oxygen supply was disrupted at 7.30 am.

Reacting to the incident, AICC spokesperson Manish Tewari said, 'Considering that Yogi Adityanath is both MP from Gorakhpur as well as the Chief Minister of the state, he should take moral responsibility and step down.

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Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed worry over media reports on Gorakhpur hospital deaths and he has assured all help to the state government in providing better health services to the people.

The carelessness has brought up an issue over the prevailing infrastructure in the State-run hospitals in Uttar Pradesh.

Principal of the BRD Medical College R K Mishra was suspended for alleged negligence and callousness.

When asked about the allegations put forward by oxygen supply agencies about their due payments, he said, "This is a wrong allegation against me". UP government has however so far not attributed the deaths to lack of oxygen supply. "For two hours, there was shortage of emergency cylinders, during which manual resuscitation procedure was carried out", he said.

Meanwhile, leaders of Opposition parties have reacted sharply to the development.

Taking a jibe at media, Adityanath said the media fraternity to check other hospitals for their preparedness for other such vector borne diseases like Kala Azar, Dengue and Swine Flu. It is the place where both births and deaths take place.

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