Gorakhpur Hospital Chief Suspended As Children's Death Toll Reaches 63

30 children were reported dead in a span of 48 hours

30 children were reported dead in a span of 48 hours at Gorakhpur's BRD hospital

He had inspected the paediatric ward, visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

"Heart-wrenching incident. Saddened by children's death".

Local officials have conceded there was a disruption to the oxygen supply at the hospital in Gorakhpur, but insist the deaths were caused by encephalitis and other illnesses, not a lack of available oxygen.

Adityanath represented the ruling BJP during the Uttar Pradesh state polls earlier this year, and helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi consolidate power as he bids for re-election in a national ballot in 2019.

Spending on public health in India, relative to the country's GDP, is among the lowest in the world.

On Friday, the private firm Pushpa Gas Agency, said they had repeatedly written to the authorities about pending hospital dues.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath Saturday night insisted that oxygen shortage did not lead to the death of the children.

The Uttar Pradesh government denied the charge, saying alternative arrangements for oxygen supply were made and the patients died of "various medical reasons and illnesses".

Adityanath, who represents Gorakhpur in Lok Sabha, turned emotional and recalled his fight against encephalitis that has killed over 50,000 children in eastern UP in the last three decades, including almost 3,000 in BRD medical college since 2012. "For two hours, there was shortage of emergency cylinders, during which manual resuscitation procedure was carried out", he said.

An inquiry committee has been set up to ascertain the exact causes of the deaths and it has been asked to submit its report by tomorrow evening.

However, reports say that the CM was not informed about shortage or any disurptions in oxygen supply.

Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said that the cause of the deaths at the BRD Hospital was the disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen and further appealed to the suppliers to not cut the supply henceforth.

About 24 hours after the accident, the Yogi who came in front of the media said, "I have visited BRD Hospital on 9th July and 9th August". And "only" seven children have died today.

According to data procured from the BRD hospital, in five days - from August 7 to August 11, a total of 60 deaths occurred in the hospital.

While Dr Misra, who has been suspended now, took responsibility for the death of the children, he contradicted the Yogi Adityanath government's statement.

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