Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh on 12 August assured quick action will be taken against those involved in the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital, following which over 30 infants lost their lives. "This is an example of gross criminal negligence of the BJP government", BSP chief Mayawati said in a release. District Magistrate Rajiv Rautela said Saturday the deaths of the children being treated for different ailments were due to natural causes.
He said that 17 children had died in the neo-natal ward, five in the ward meant of patients suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome and eight in the general ward.
Minister for medical education Ashutosh Tandon ruled out disruption in oxygen supply as the reason behind the deaths.
Officials at the oxygen plant had written to the Chief Medical Officer on Thursday morning informing him about the depleting stock of oxygen, which would last till evening. He denied that an insufficient oxygen supply led to their deaths.
"The company supplying oxygen had informed the principal (of Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital) that it would stop the supply if payment was not made and the government must be aware that the deaths have been caused due to a shortage of oxygen", he said.
The death toll began on 10th when twenty three children died after the firm which supplied oxygen at the hospital stopped doing so as the bill was not paid. "Those responsible will not be spared", said State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh who has been directed by Adityanath to look into the matter.
"Considering he (Yogi Adityanath) is both MP and CM, he must take moral responsibility and step down, so should his Health Minister", Tewari added. It is a specialty hospital frequented by many in the region that is prone to cases of Encephalitis.
Akhilesh blamed the present state government of being non-serious towards such issues, and said what has happened is a serious matter. "The government needs to tackle it with a rigorous campaign", said R. N. Singh, a medical doctor who has been leading the fight against the disease in Gorakhpur district. She also called upon the state Congress workers to provide relief to the families of victims.
While the state administration acknowledged that the hospital operated with oxygen supply for two hours on Thursday night, it said not deaths occurred during that time, NDTV reported.