Children Have Died Of Encephalitis In The Last 48 Hours In Gorakhpur

A child at encephalitis ward. Image Courtesy ANI  Twitter

Rautela, who was camping in the hospital, however, denied that the casualties were due to a shortage in oxygen supply. He visited the hospital two days before to review its functioning.

Thirty-four children died in two days in a public hospital in the north of India, announced on Friday that the police, local media, involving the lack of oxygen supply in the institution.

There have also been reports of hospital dues to the tune of Rs 66 lakh to the company that supplied oxygen. It is a specialty hospital frequented by many in the region that is prone to cases of Encephalitis. Seven children died reportedly today only, according to news agency ANI. "It's normal for 10 deaths to take place in encephalitis and neo-natal wards", he said. Ironically, the children's death reports come on a day when the UP government wants to carry out patriotism tests in madrasas on Independence Day. Addressing doctors on 9 August, Adityanath had said: "No child should die due to lack of proper care". Today the dues rose to Rs 69 lakhs and company was forced to stop supply of oxygen.

District magistrate Rautela said alternative arrangements were made from nearby nursing homes since Thursday night and from neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar district.

The technician of the oxygen unit in the hospital had informed the principal and heads of all critical units on Thursday morning about the low pressure of oxygen in the central pipeline following Pushpa Sales denying supply of oxygen further.

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Apart from the DM and State Health Minister, the allegations children dying due to disruption in oxygen supply was also dismissed by Dr KK Gupta, the Director General of UP's Medical Education.

Siddharth Nath Singh, the health minister of UP, said: "The death of children is very unfortunate and the government will set up an inquiry committee to ascertain if any lapse has occurred". "BRD medical college has a gas plant as well", he said, claiming that shortage of oxygen could be the reason for the deaths.

This year alone, Gorakhpur has seen at least 114 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Dozens of children admitted here are battling for life and in absence of proper treatment, medicines and oxygen, they have lost hope, said many others.

"We eradicated diseases like polio and filaria and now encephalitis is our target", he said after launching the campaign here.

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