Uttar Pradesh, Aug 12, 2017 : Cracking the whip following the death of 30 children owing to alleged shortage of oxygen, Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended the principal of BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur even as it denied that lack of oxygen supply was the reason behind the deaths.
The opposition parties launched a scathing attack on chief minister Yogi Adityanath and demanded his resignation along with the health minister. Adityanath on Saturday said that squalor was responsible for the deaths in the medical college.
Seemingly on the back foot, state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh, who visited the medical college hospital with the minister for medical education Ashutosh Tandon, however, admitted that the hospital had run out of oxygen for two hours on the night of Thursday.
The minister sought to downplay the deaths by furnishing statistics of casualty in the hospital during the month of August in previous years and said that in comparison fewer deaths had taken place in August this year.
’’A majority of patients who are admitted to the BRD medical college hospital are in the last stage and therefore the casualty figure remains always high here...the annual average casualty is around 17-18 per day here,’’ he said.
Singh said that on Thursday evening the meter showing availability of liquid oxygen started beeping indicating low supply following which cylinders were used. ’’AMBU (Artificial Manual Breathing Unit) bags were used to supply oxygen to the patients after cylinders too ran out of supply,’’ he added.
He admitted that the oxygen supplying company had stopped supply following non-payment of bills. ’’Chief minister Yogi Adityanath was not informed about this matter when he had visited the hospital on Wednesday,’’ he said.
Singh said a high level committee, to be headed by the state chief secretary, had been formed to probe the matter. ’’Action will be taken on the basis of report of the committee,’’ he added.
Tandon said that the principal of the medical college Dr. R.K.Mishra had been suspended on charges of laxity. He said that the government had made part payment of the bills of the company but there was some delay in the process.
30 children, mostly new born, had died allegedly owing to shortage of oxygen at the hospital in a period of 36-hours between Thursday and Friday.