Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Health Minister JP Nadda visited the hospital in Gorakhpur where the deaths of 63 children over the last five days has sparked massive outrage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, has been “concerned” and had called him to offer every kind of support. The Chief Minister also underscored the investigation ordered into the deaths, promising to “not spare anyone found guilty”.
“For the last two to three days, the news that has been pouring in, PM Modi has been concerned. He called me to offer all sorts of support,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said.
He added that a preliminary report on the issue has been made and “and based on that we have come to a conclusion that inquiry into the incident is very important”. Cautioning media against “fake reporting” he asked reporters to “go inside the wards” and visit the children.
The government has said that funds for oxygen were not released by the hospital administration till August 11 even though they had been cleared on August 5. Rajeev Misra, the suspended chief of the medical college, has blamed red tape. He resigned later last night, taking moral responsibility for the deaths.While the government has admitted that the 800-bed hospital was operating without any supply of oxygen for two hours on Thursday night, it insisted that no deaths had occurred during that period.
Twenty-three children died at the hospital on Thursday – 14 of them in the neo-natal ward – where premature newborns are kept. Nine children died the previous day when the Chief Minister visited, nine died on Monday, 12 on Tuesday and seven on Friday, according to the hospital.
The deaths sparked a political firestorm as opposition parties slammed the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government, accusing it of negligence. “Families of the dead were sent off with the bodies, they did not even do autopsies… extremely unfortunate,” former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted on Friday. “I am pained beyond words,” said Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
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