Authorities said they have launched an inquiry but denied reports that a lack of oxygen had caused the deaths at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh state, which is ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Centre sent Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Health Secretary CK Mishra to Gorakhpur and look into the lapses in the BRD Medical College, where the children, including in the neonatal ward, were said to have died due to lack of oxygen supply.
However, before leaving for Gorakhpur, state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh today reiterated that no child died due to a shortage of oxygen.
Rajeev Rautela the district magistrate, Uttar Pradesh said in the press conference that this event occurred Thursday noon. The seven deaths that reportedly took place on Saturday, August 12, were due to various other medical reasons.
He asked Yogi Adityanath to apologise to the parents of children who died in the horrific incident.
Meanwhile, the state government has reiterated its earlier stand on the deaths and has said that the children did not die to disruption of gas supply.
Gorakhpur is the Lok Sabha constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the incident comes barely two days after his visit here.
Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy : 60 children die due to lack of oxygen supply
Blaming the Adityanath government for the tragedy, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav claimed that a shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital led to it.
In the letter it was clearly mentioned that the hospital had only limited stock available, which was sufficient to serve the requirement till August 10.
"Our heart goes out to the families of all those young children, who have perished due to sheer negligence or who have died due to sheer negligence", Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.
Tandon said, "The oxygen supplier company claims that it had approached the health department on August 1 for payment of its dues, to which the department had released funds and informed the BRD Medical College for payment on August 5". The families said they have to buy food and medicines from outside.
He had inspected the paediatric ward, visited a ward meant for children infected with Japanese encephalitis virus and cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
But he said it did not cause the children's deaths as there was a sufficient number of oxygen cylinders to ensure all the youngsters could be treated. "The government is trying to run away from responsibilities", he said.
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