34 ba­bies among 60 kids who die in In­dia hos­pi­tal

New Straits Times - - World -

MUM­BAI: Sixty chil­dren have died at a hos­pi­tal in In­dia’s north­ern state of Ut­tar Pradesh this week, prompt­ing lo­cal me­dia to blame the fa­tal­i­ties on a lack of oxy­gen sup­plies.

The BRD Med­i­cal Col­lege spec­i­fied that 34 were ba­bies who died at the neo-na­tal in­ten­sive care unit, while 12 died be­cause of en­cephali­tis. The rest died of other un­spec­i­fied causes.

Me­dia re­ports had said some of the deaths were caused by an oxy­gen short­age af­ter a pri­vate sup­plier with­drew its equip­ment over un­paid hos­pi­tal dues.

BRD Med­i­cal chief med­i­cal su­per­in­ten­dent Dr R.S. Shukla de­nied the deaths had been caused by a lack of oxy­gen sup­plies.

The hos­pi­tal said there had been a “drop in pres­sure in the sup­ply of liq­uid oxy­gen” on Thurs­day, but added cylin­ders were pro­cured from other sup­pli­ers. It did not spec­ify whether that had re­sulted in any deaths.

The break­down of the death toll pro­vided by the hos­pi­tal showed a spike on Thurs­day, with 23 fa­tal­i­ties, in­clud­ing 14 ba­bies at its neo-na­tal unit.

A tweet from the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice said Naren­dra Modi was con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

The deaths have sparked a po­lit­i­cal firestorm as op­po­si­tion politi­cians sought to pin the blame on Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules the state. Reuters

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