Lucknow: As many as thirty children, many of them newborns, have died in the last 48 hours at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh (UP)’s Gorakhpur district, taking the toll to 60 in the last five days.
The UP government has not said what has caused such a large number of child deaths, but denied reports linking them to a disruption in the supply of oxygen at the hospital.
“There have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen supply,” said UP’s medical education Minister Ashutosh Tondon, adding that the district magistrate of Gorakhpur has ordered an investigation and “the report will be out within 24 hours”.
The state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College is the biggest hospital in Gorakhpur, which has been Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s parliamentary constituency for the last 19 years.
The hospital said that while 23 children had died on Thursday – when there was a disruption in the oxygen supply – it was not the reason behind the deaths.
District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela told reporters that oxygen supply was “disrupted” at the hospital when its regular vendor stopped service because previous bills had not been paid. But, he said, “The medical college officials told us that there was alternative oxygen supply, therefore the charge of lack of oxygen supply can be ruled out.”