At least 60 children have died over five days at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur, prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to order a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
The deaths are being blamed on infections and possible disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward but the hospital and district administration have rejected oxygen shortage as a reason.
Incidentally, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the medical college two days ago — it falls in his Lok Sabha constituency — and inspected the paediatric ward.
He had also inaugurated a ten-bed ICU, a six-bed Critical Care Unit and visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus, and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
A report Friday from the BRD Medical College gave a break-up of the 60 deaths since August 7 under categories listed as NICU (neonatal intensive care unit ), AES, non-AES: