30 children, including newborns, die in India hospital

As many as 30 children lost their lives due to encephalitis in last 48 hours at Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh on 12 August assured quick action will be taken against those involved in the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital, following which over 30 infants lost their lives. The government however said that only seven had died. Doctors at BRD Medical College said the company that supplied liquid oxygen to the hospital - Pushpa Sales - had stopped the supply after its pending bills amounting to Rs 66 lakh were not cleared.

The Hindustan Times newspaper on Saturday described chaotic scenes at the hospital as oxygen supply was disrupted.

"There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply".

The development comes after 63 children lost their lives within a week at the government-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur constituency belonging to CM Yogi Adityanath.

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A statement issued by the state Information Department late evening categorically denied reports shown by "some TV channels as misleading".

Even as 90 jumbo oxygen cylinders were pressed into service to maintain the supply on Friday, the hospital ran out of oxygen around 1 am.

Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also informed that a Samajwadi Party delegation would be visiting Gorakhpur and said the state government and administration are hiding crucial facts in the case.

"Whoever is found guilty in the tragic and painful incident at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur will certainly face stringent action", Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya told PTI in Lucknow on Saturday.

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The HT report suggested that the 3,000-odd deaths are among 50,000 children killed in eastern Uttar Pradesh over the past three decades, a lot of them due to Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).

He also asked the Opposition not to politicise the deaths. "If there's any morality in this government then he should quit and go, for such disaster has happened", Bhadoria said.

Minister of State for health Anupriya Patel will visit Gorakhpur on Sunday to assess the situation and a panel led by the chief secretary will investigate the oxygen supplier's role, Adityanath said.

Prashant Trivedi, the state's top health official, acknowledged that there was a problem in the pipeline supplying oxygen.

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The inquiry was ordered Friday night after local media reports quoting hospital authorities said 30 children died in the hospital due to lack of oxygen cylinders.

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