34 babies among 60 kids who die in India hospital
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