UP government orders inquiry, suspends medical college principal

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At least 30 children, some of them newborns, have died at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur in the past 48 hours, and 60 in the past five days.

He further said that he has started the fight against encephalitis.

"Children die a painful death in Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen supply".

There was panic at the hospital with relatives trying to support staff using manual breathing bags, local media say.

In response to the accusation made about dues to be paid to the company supplying oxygen cylinders, he said that there had been an alternative arrangement of 50 oxygen cylinder that was put to use.

As many as thirty children have died in Gorakhpur in the past 36 hours due to lack of oxygen at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College.

A statement issued by the state Information Department late evening categorically denied reports shown by "some TV channels as misleading".

Adityanath described the deaths as unfortunate and said that not all the deaths were caused by a shortage of oxygen supply, News18 reported.

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"Considering he (Yogi Adityanath) is both MP and CM, he must take moral responsibility and step down, so should his Health Minister", Tewari added.

'Many acute cases are referred to the hospital and on an average 10-11 kids die daily.

India's main opposition Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi have expressed deep shock over the deaths. Will wait for report, action will be taken. "The government needs to tackle it with a rigorous campaign", said R. N. Singh, a medical doctor who has been leading the fight against the disease in Gorakhpur district. Accepting that "the supply of gas was disrupted", he said "but no deaths were reported due to it".

After digging deeper, it turns out that a total number of 60 deaths have occurred in the past 5 days.

The Chief Minister said that he himself had visited the BRD medical college on July 9 and August 9 to himself look at the situation but was not informed of any shortage, including of oxygen.

A delegation of Congress leaders under leadership of leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Gulam Nabi Azad has also visited the hospital and met the victims families. He added,"District Magistrate has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, report will be out in 24 hrs".

District official Anil Kumar recognized there was a "payment issue" with the supplier, but said the deaths could have been caused by "natural" causes as many patients were admitted in a "serious" condition.

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