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Monitoring Gorakhpur, Top Officials There, Yogi Adityanath: 10 Points

NDTV logo NDTV 4 days ago Reported by Alok Pandey, Edited by Shuchi Shukla

GORAKHPUR, UTTAR PRADESH: PM Narendra Modi has been briefed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the deaths of 63 children, including several newborns, in the last five days at a hospital in Gorakhpur and is monitoring the situation, the government said today. The chief of the hospital Baba Raghav Das Medical College has been suspended. The government, however, maintained that no child died because of a lack of oxygen. It has, however, admitted there could be negligence and has ordered an investigation. The Chief Minister, who has represented the district in parliament for nearly 20 years, had visited the state-run hospital on Wednesday.

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Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. At a press conference this evening, Yogi Adityanath said he has ordered an inquiry and has promised "strict action against those found responsible". He has rushed two top ministers, including health minister Siddharth Nath Singh to Gorakhpur.
  2. The government today admitted that for two hours on Thursday night, the hospital with over 800 beds was operating without any supply of oxygen. However, they said, no deaths had occurred during the time.
  3. Raids were conducted at the Lucknow-based firm that supplied oxygen to the hospital and had stopped because previous bills were not paid.
  4. On Thursday morning, employees who handle the storage plant at the hospital from where oxygen is piped, wrote to the Chief Medical Officer informing him that the stock of liquid oxygen was limited and would last only till that evening. At around 11:30 pm on Thursday, the oxygen ran out. Fresh cylinders were brought in at around 1:30 am on Friday.
  5. 23 children died at the hospital on Thursday, 14 of them in the neo-natal ward, where premature newborns are kept. While nine children died the previous day when the Chief Minister visited, nine on Monday, 12 on Tuesday and seven on Friday, according to the hospital.
  6. "Culprits behind this will not be spared...The Chief Minister visited the hospital on 9 August, but the doctors there did not make him aware about oxygen," said UP's health minister Siddharth Nath Singh today, amid demands from opposition parties that he resign.
  7. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and others visited the hospital and demanded the resignation of UP's health minister. "Heart-wrenching incident. Saddened by children's death. This happened due to state government's carelessness," Mr Azad told reporters outside the hospital. Other opposition leaders are also expected to visit the hospital later in the day.
  8. "Families of the dead were sent off with the bodies, they did not even do autopsies... extremely unfortunate," former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav alleged in a tweet.
  9. "I am pained beyond words," said Congress President Sonia Gandhi, while her son and deputy Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Deeply pained. My thoughts are with the families of the victims. BJP government is responsible and should punish the negligent who caused this tragedy."
  10. On his visit this week, Chief Minister Adityanath had inaugurated 10-bed ICU, a six-bed Critical Care Unit facility at the hospital, which gets a large number of encephalitis patients. Thousands have died of encephalitis in Gorakhpur since the first case was discovered in the 1970s.

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