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Gorakhpur tragedy updates: Yogi Adityanath, JP Nadda visit hospital

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-08-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: Sixty children have so far died at BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur, this week prompting local media to blame the death on a lack of oxygen supplies.

The BRD Medical College has specified that 34 were babies who died at the neonatal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis. The rest died of other unspecified causes.

Local media reports have said some of the deaths were caused due to an oxygen shortage after a private supplier withdrew its equipment over unpaid hospital dues.

The Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre are investigating the matter, officials said. A tweet from the prime minister’s office said Narendra Modi was constantly monitoring the situation.

Here are the live updates on how the Gorakhpur tragedy is unfolding on the third day:

■ Head of BRD Medical College suspended

Uttar Pradesh suspended the head of BRD Medical College and union health minister J.P. Nadda vowed action against the culprits, as state and hospital officials traded blame over funding matters.

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government suspended Rajeev Misra late on Saturday and ordered an investigation into contracts to supply oxygen. “I wrote at least three letters,” Misra told television reporters on Saturday, adding that he had even flagged the issue in video conference discussions.

Nadda visited the hospital in Gorakhpur accompanied by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. He promised “strict action” against the culprits in an interview with the news channel NDTV, before his departure from Delhi. (Reuters)

■ Maintain adequate stock of oxygen, UP govt tells medical colleges

The Uttar Pradesh government has asked all the medical colleges to ensure that there is no shortage of medicines or oxygen. The state government’s medical education department, in a letter to the medical colleges, also directed them to immediately pay all the outstanding dues to the oxygen suppliers (if any).

“After the Gorakhpur tragedy, we have issued a written order to all the nine government medical colleges and 12 other prominent medical institutes in the state to ensure that there is no shortage of any medicine or oxygen in the hospitals,” said Anita Bhatnagar Jain, additional chief secretary of medical education in the state government. “If there is any pending payment, which is yet to be made to any gas supplier, then it should be done immediately. There should be no shortage of oxygen in the institute, and adequate stock of oxygen must be maintained,” Jain said.

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