The incident comes just two days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur- his constituency- to review its functioning. "It is a matter of probe and medical examination whether or not these deaths occurred due to cut in supply of oxygen", said the DM. The deaths had taken place in the past 36-hours, sources said.
He said 17 children died in the neo-natal ward, 5 in AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward and 8 in the general ward. Supply of liquid oxygen was disrupted yesterday day due to pending payment.
In an interview to the Indian express, Ravindra Kumar, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Gorakhpur, said the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is reducing with each passing year. Last night, the agency responsible for supplying oxygen stopped supply. As per reports, 59 children were admitted in the ICU out of which 30 died in last two days. "Requested suppliers not to disrupt supply".
UP Congress President Raj Babbar termed the incident unfortunate and sought action by CM Yogi Adity-anath, while Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav sought a compensation of Rs20 lakh each to the kin of the dead.
Multiple local media reports said numerous children died after the company which was supplying liquid oxygen stopped the service, apparently over non-payment of dues.
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However, in a significant admission, the DM said that he had spoken to Pushpa Sales Company, which supplies oxygen to the hospital, and was told that the hospital owed Rs 70 lakh.
The liquid oxygen plant at the college had been installed two years ago and piped oxygen supply was given to 300 patients at a time.
The Health Minister Dr Sidhartha Nath Singh did not take repeated calls made by DNA. The death rate, 2 to 3 years ago, used to range between 16 and 20 per cent but in the last couple of years it has taken a unsafe turn. "The District Magistrate is staying in the hospital and are monitoring the situation".
The disease has so far killed several thousand children in last three decades with 2005 being the worst in which over 1,500 children had died drawing global attention.
Recently, a massive fire engulfed the trauma centre of King George's Medical University in Lucknow. A bill of Rs 69 lakh was pending but as the BRD College failed to clear the dues the company refused to supply oxygen.