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PM Modi concerned about Gorakhpur deaths, says CM Adityanath

13 August 2017

11 children died on Saturday and until Friday the death toll stood at 60.

Reports say the deaths were caused due to an oxygen shortage after a private supplier withdrew its equipment over unpaid hospital dues. The issue of settlement of the pending money is what costed the lives of little ones.

On Saturday, Opposition that included parties like Congress, BSP, SP, lashed out at BJP government in UP for the carelessness.

At a press conference in Lucknow, Yogi also said that he has also sent two ministers to the BRD Medical College to investigate the matter.

Health Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh and Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon were directed by an "extremely unhappy" Adityanath to inspect the situation at the state-run facility and take strict action against those responsible, an official said.

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The deaths are being blamed on infections and possible disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward but the hospital and district administration have rejected oxygen shortage as a reason.

According to officials, 17 children died in the neo-natal ward, 5 in AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward and 8 died in the general ward.

On Sunday, J.P. Nadda, health minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet, visited the hospital in the town of Gorakhpur, 800 km (507 miles) east of New Delhi, accompanied by the state's chief minister, Yogi Adityanath.

On Friday, it was reported that as many as 30 children lost their lives due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours at the hospital. "Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh should immediately resign from their post".

567 deaths occurred in August 2014; 668 in August 2015, 22 per day in 2015 and 587 in August 2016; 19-20 per day, while 133 so far in August 2017.

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"The government is treating the matter seriously".

"In my view, this is a clear case of corruption and negligence, and whosoever is found guilty in the tragic incident will certainly face stringent action", he added.

This incident has taken the total number of children's deaths in the district to 60 in the last five days.

"On August 10, at around 7:30 pm, supply of liquid oxygen became low... but the demand was met by oxygen cylinders".

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PM Modi concerned about Gorakhpur deaths, says CM Adityanath