In a massive case of negligence, at least 30 children have lost their lives due to encephalitis in the last 48 hours at Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital in Uttar Pradesh. According to reports, the children died due to lack of oxygen.
"Total 30 deaths in last 48 hours. Supply of liquid oxygen was disrupted yesterday day due to pending payment," District Magistrate, Rajeev Rautela told ANI. Rautela said he had requested the suppliers not to disrupt supply, but they didn't listen.
The hospital had not cleared the supplier's bill of Rs 69 lakh, reports India Today.
However, the hospital's Chief Medical Superintendent RS Shukla rejected the reports. "We ensured oxygen supply to all the kids and no death has been reported due to insufficiency of oxygen," Shukla said.
Siddharthnath Singh, state health minister, also dismissed the reports. "What media has reported it does not appear same to us. A final picture will be clear after a report on it comes," he told Hindustan Times.
The hospital in which the deaths occurred between Thursday night and Monday noon is in chief minister Yogi Adityanath's constituency.
A high-level magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident.
This year alone, Gorakhpur has seen at least 114 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Earlier this year, Yogi Adityanath had launched a campaign to eradicate the disease that claims the lives of hundreds of children every year in the state.
Under the drive, the government had set a target to vaccinate 88 lakh children in 38 UP districts, including Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Deoria, Maharajganj and Basti.