Outrage mounts over dozens of infant deaths at Indian hospital
Gorakhpur, India - A key ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was facing calls for his resignation after dozens of children died at a government hospital in northern India that suffered oxygen shortages.
Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state where the deaths occurred, visited the hospital on Sunday as angry relatives rushed to the scene demanding answers.
At least 64 children died over six days at the hospital in Gorakhpur, with Indian media reporting that 30 deaths on Thursday and Friday were from a lack of oxygen in the children’s wards.
Suppliers’ bills had allegedly not been paid, leading to a shortage that saw panicked families using artificial manual breathing bags to help their stricken loved ones.
Local officials have conceded there was a disruption to the oxygen supply at the hospital, but insist the deaths were caused by encephalitis and other illnesses, not a lack of available oxygen.
Adityanath, a firebrand leader from Modi’s nationalist party, vowed to leave no stone unturned as he toured the hospital in his signature saffron robes.
“If the investigation finds any authority guilty of negligence, he will not be spared at any cost,” Adityanath said.
Political activists protest after the death of at least 64 children at a government hospital in India