A day after the high-level team of doctors gave a clean chit to the children’s wing of the SVR Ruia Government General Hospital, five more children died on Sunday due to various complications, taking the toll to 16 since August 15.
However, hospital superintendent J Veeraswamy stuck to his original claim and asserted that the deaths were not due to negligence by the doctors or lack of equipment but due to medical complications that could not be avoided. But his assertions did little to stem the anger of the parents of the babies and various political leaders flayed the government in strong terms.
Veeraswamy said that of the five children who died on Sunday, four were being treated in paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and one in Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). He said that one infant from Maruti Nagar of Tirupati had died due to respiratory problems arising out of low birth weight (675 grams). A five-month baby, Bhavana, from Boyanapalle of Rajampet mandal in Kadapa district died due to lack of nutrition and another one-and-half-year old baby, T Gowri, from Pulivendula Tanda of Nellore district died due to lack of nutrition.
He added that the fourth infant, a three-month old girl Sana from Medakurthi of Kalikiri mandal in Chittoor district, died as she had developed pus in the brain and spinal cord while a nine-year old boy, M Venkataramana from Vengamanaidupalle village in Dakkili mandal of Nellore district, had died to heart failure after being bitten by a scorpion.
Meanwhile, CPI state secretary K Narayana visited the hospital and enquired about the facilities available. Later, speaking to mediapersons, he held the government responsible for the deaths, which he termed as murder. He demanded that the police register criminal cases against the relevant authorities. Narayana pointed out that the hospital lacked ambulances despite employing three drivers.