Gorakhpur Hospital Deaths: It's Not Tragedy But Massacre, Says Satyarthi

Marsha Scott
August 13, 2017

Union Health Ministry has sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital tragedy in Gorakhpur, in which 60 children have been killed due to shortage of oxygen supply during the last five days.

Both Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh and Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon visited the hospital and checked the incident immediately after the meeting of CM.

At Gorakhpur's government-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College more than 30 children had died between Thursday and Friday due to shortage of oxygen. "The district magistrate is camping there to look into the matter".

"This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of the state government".

The death toll due to alleged shortage of oxygen supply has now risen to 64, with three deaths being reported today.

Opposition Congress Party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "Deeply pained".

The opposition has cornered the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government in the state demanding resignation from of Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh on the moral grounds following the tragedy that has exposed the apathy of the failed medical system.

JEV primarily affects children as most adults tend to attain natural immunity from the disease, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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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"Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the BDS Hospital on July 9".

"The shortage of oxygen was not highlighted". It's a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?,' Kailash Satyarthi said in a post on social media.

The reason given for the string of infant deaths is the lack of oxygen supply of the facility, after the supplied stopped shipments due to non-payment of outstanding debts.

"Our heart goes out to the families of all those young children, who have perished due to sheer negligence or who have died due to sheer negligence", Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.

The family had rushed the newborn to the hospital from neighbouring Siddharthnagar district on August 9 because he had a high fever.

City magistrate V K Srivastava said: "Many acute cases are referred to the hospital and on an average 10-11 kids die daily".

But he said it did not cause the children's deaths as there was a sufficient number of oxygen cylinders to ensure all the youngsters could be treated.

"The government is responsible for the deaths of these children", he said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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