35 More Kids Die in Gorakhpur Hospital, Death Toll Rises to 325 

Uttar Pradesh STF on Saturday arrested Dr Kafeel Khan, who was in charge of the Encephalitis Ward in BRD hospital.

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Nineteen more children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital on 1 September taking the toll in August alone to 325. With this, the death toll among infants and kids in the hospital has touched 1,304 so far this year.

Confirming the fresh cases of deaths, newly-appointed principal of the college Dr PK Singh told PTI, “On August 30 till midnight as many as 59 children were admitted. Of them, 13 died. As of now, there are 354 children undergoing treatment.”

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (UPSLSA) to inspect the services at the hospital.

Yogi Shirks Responsibilites, Blames Media

Despite the ever increasing death toll in the hospital, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday took a dig at the media for pinning the blame on the government for all issues.

Addressing people at the inauguration of the ‘Make in UP’ startup scheme, Adityanath mockingly said, “They say that everyday there is a lot of waste and we have given our responsibility to the government. I feel soon enough, people will leave their children for the government to bring them up.”

The statement comes after 42 children died in 48 hours between 28-30 August, taking the death toll at 290 in August alone at the BRD hospital.

After the deaths were first reported, Adityanath deftly suspended 11 officials for ‘dereliction of duty’. He had said, “any laxity in redressing the grievances of the public will not be tolerated”, but the deaths continued in the government hospital.

Two hundred and thirteen died in the neonatal ICU and 77 in the encephalitis ward, according to principal PK Singh. Giving a break up of the causalities at the medical college, Singh said 37 children died on 27 and 28 August, of which 26 died in the neonatal ICU (NICU) and 11 in encephalitis ward.

The toll in January was 152 (143 in NICU and nine in encephalitis ward), in February it was 122 (117 and five), in March 159 (141 and 18), in April 123 (114 and nine), May 139 (127 and 12), June 137 (125 and 12), July 128 (95 and 33), he said.

The principal said children with different complications and ailments arising out of premature delivery, under weight, jaundice, pneumonia, infectious diseases and encephalitis are admitted to the hospital, mostly in a very serious condition.

Gorakhpur is Aditynath’s own constituency. He has been elected for five consecutive terms as an MP since 1998.

Adityanath passed the buck for a failing government medical institution, that has been held responsible for the death of many children, onto the previous governments.

“The governments in the last 15 years ruined the institutions in UP for selfish motives by institutionalising corruption. They deprived people of facilities,” Adityanath said.

The UP administration has faced serious flak after Gorakhpur DM R Rautela’s report on the earlier cases confirmed that there was lack of oxygen supply in the hospital and had blamed “financial irregularities” for the delay in payment to the supplier.

State Congress president Raj Babbar condemned the CM’s statement calling it “derogatory”. Demanding his resignation he said, “a person with such thoughts should not be allowed to continue as CM”.

“UP CM has given this statement at a most inappropriate time, when children continue to die in Gorakhpur hospital,” AICC general secretary and former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

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