LUCKNOW: At least 30 people including 25 kids lost their lives at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur during the last 48 hours when the firm supplying oxygen to neonatal units and encephalitis wards allegedly stopped supply due to non-payment of their pending bills. The Yogi Adityanath government has denied this.
News channel CNN-News18, which got access to the copy of a letter written by the oxygen supply firm to the hospital authorities on August 1, reported that the firm had threatened to cut off supply if the dues were not settled.
According to the letter, the hospital had to settle due of Rs. 63,65,702 to the oxygen supply firm.
There are also reports that the Principal of BRD Medical College Rajeev Mishra who had left to Delhi yesterday took no remedial steps to sort the issue.
District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela said," Thirty children have lost their lives due to encephalitis in the last 48 hours at BRD hospital. Yes, the supply of liquid oxygen was disrupted yesterday (Thursday) due to pending payment. I have requested suppliers not to disrupt the supply."
"As per SP Gorakhpur, 21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen in BRD Medical College, in the past 36 hours. Senior officers are on the spot. Exact cause is being verified by civil administration," PTI quoted a Union home ministry spokesperson as saying.
Yet, Uttar Pradesh's Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tondon has said, “There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply. And 'only' seven children have died today. Today three deaths happened in Neonatal ICU, two due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and two due to Non-AES.”
Notably, just two days ago Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, with a battery of senior health officials, presided over a two-hour meeting of top district officials at BBRD Medical College to review the encephalitis situation.