Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Death toll reaches 63, oxygen vendor raided

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The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on 12 August asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to step down from his post over the death of 30 children in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital due to alleged lack of oxygen supply.

District Magistrate Rajiv Routale said in the last two days, 17 children died in Neo Natal Ward, whereas in acute encephalitis syndrome i.e. five in AES ward and eight children died in General Ward.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh where at least 30 children died in a hospital and is in touch with central and state authorities, the PMO said on Saturday.

"It is a fact that the hospital is overcrowded and the number of patients it caters to is far more than what it can manage", said health secretary CK Mishra.

Blaming the Yogi Adityanath government for the tragedy, SP president Akhilesh Yadav claimed that a shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital led to it.

A statement issued by the state Information Department late evening categorically denied reports shown by "some TV channels as misleading".

The death toll began on 10th when twenty three children died after the firm which supplied oxygen at the hospital stopped doing so as the bill was not paid.

Siddharthnath Singh, state health minister, also dismissed the reports.

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Gorakhpur being the constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for last 19 years, the opposition parties are now on a protest demanding probe into the case.

District magistrate Rajeev Rautela admitted to the deaths, but said most were due to encephalitis.

"However, gas cylinders were not available, but the Oxygen was being supplied through ambu bags and other means".

He urged the Opposition parties to not politicise the tragic deaths.

It's a massacre not a tragedy, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Friday reacting to the incident.

Similarly, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who led a delegation to the hospital earlier, asserted that the Uttar Pradesh Government should apologize to the whole nation in regard to the same.

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. Hospital illegally charged 60 lakh rupees for the oxygen supply. The Health minister said the State government was not informed by the doctors and officials about shortage of oxygen either July 9 or August 9.

Sixty children died between August 7 and 11 in BRD Hospital, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.

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