"Encephalitis has been there since 1978 and if infants from eastern Uttar Pradesh are suffering from it then it's due to lack of hygiene and open defecation", said the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. "Yes, sixty patients have died at the hospital in the last five days but we don't think it's linked to reports of oxygen shortage", Anil Kumar, Gorakhpur's divisional commissioner told AFP. "Government is responsible. Strict action must be taken", Mr. Yadav tweeted. In April, Adityanath government claimed that they have started working on setting up six AIIMS and 25 new medical colleges in UP.
The hospital sees a high number of deaths every year, which the team says is a cause for concern and that it will try to address it. Apparently, the hospital is supposed to provide free medication but neither the medication nor the facilities are appropriate. What has happened is saddening. "Free medicine must be provided to poor families across UP", he added. Adityanath had been in Gorakhpur just two days back and held a review meeting of healthcare, among other things.
Two ministers from the Adityanth government - Siddharth Nath Singh (Health) and Ashutosh Tandon (Medical Education) reached the medical college today to take stock of the situation.
Earlier in the day, the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital claimed lives of three more children.
The Hindustan Times newspaper on Saturday described chaotic scenes at the hospital as the oxygen supply was disrupted. The deaths occurred due to suffocation as fire and smoke engulfed most wards in the hospital, as over 100 patients were being treated at the Intensive Care Unit.
A private contractor stopped supplying oxygen to the hospital over a past-due bill, district magistrate Rajeev Rautela said.
Actually the firm Pushpa Sales supplies oxygen to the hospital. According to reports, 12 children were suffering from encephalitis.
The state's health minister Sidharth Nath Singh suspended the hospital's top official, holding him accountable for the disruption of oxygen supply until the completion of a formal investigation.
The government has also ordered an inquiry.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty.
Health Minister Singh had said that according to reports from the paediatric department of the college, 60 children died due to various diseases since August 7.