World Outrage mounts over dozens of infant deaths at India hospital

13:51  13 august  2017
13:51  13 august  2017 Source:   AFP

Infant left in plastic bag survived 3 days, police say

  Infant left in plastic bag survived 3 days, police say <p>An 8-month-old girl stuffed in a plastic trash bag and abandoned behind a home here was left for 72 hours before she was found, authorities said Wednesday.</p>ELMIRA, N.Y. — An 8-month-old girl stuffed in a plastic trash bag and abandoned behind a home here was left for 72 hours before she was found, authorities said Wednesday.

The deaths occurred over six days, with Indian media reporting that 30 children died Thursday and Friday because of a lack of oxygen on the children’s wards. The hospital ’s breakdown of the death toll showed a jump Thursday when 23 infants died, including 14 babies at its neo-natal unit.

The deaths occurred over six days, with Indian media reporting that 30 children died Thursday and Friday because of a lack of oxygen on the children's wards. The hospital 's breakdown of the death toll showed a jump Thursday when 23 infants died, including 14 babies at its neo-natal unit.

Medical staff attend to a child at the Gorakhpur hospital where parents blame many deaths on oxygen shortages© Provided by AFP Medical staff attend to a child at the Gorakhpur hospital where parents blame many deaths on oxygen shortages

A key ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing calls for his resignation after at least 64 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 Sunday as angry relatives rushed to the scene demanding answers.

The deaths occurred over six days, with Indian media reporting that 30 children died Thursday and Friday because of a lack of oxygen on the children's wards.

30 children die in hospital in northern India: medical official

  30 children die in hospital in northern India: medical official Thirty children have died at a hospital in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh since Wednesday due to encephalitis and delivery-related issues, a senior medical official said on Friday. Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla also denied accusations made by a district official in local media that the deaths were due to an oxygen shortage he said occurred after a private supplier withdrew its equipment over unpaid hospital dues.The dead children ranged from babies to 12-year-olds.

Medical staff attend to a child at the Gorakhpur hospital where parents blame many deaths on oxygen shortages. A key ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing calls for his resignation after at least 64 children died at a government hospital in northern India that suffered oxygen shortages.

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Suppliers' bills had allegedly not been paid, leading to a shortage that saw panicked families using artificial manual breathing bags to help their loved ones.

Local officials have conceded there was a disruption to the oxygen supply at the hospital in Gorakhpur, but insist the deaths were caused by encephalitis and other illnesses, not a lack of available oxygen.

"We are confident that none of the lives were lost because of this episode," a senior government health official in Gorakhpur told AFP on Sunday on condition of anonymity.

But victims' families have disputed this, describing the panic and chaos as patients began struggling from a sudden lack of oxygen.

"As soon as we reached the hospital, we were handed a small pump and told to keep pumping. I did so for over three-and-a-half hours," one victim's father, Shailendra Gupta, was quoted by Sunday's Indian Express as saying.

Sixty deaths over 5 days at India hospital without oxygen

  Sixty deaths over 5 days at India hospital without oxygen At least 60 children have died over five days at a government hospital in northern India that suffered oxygen shortages, officials said Saturday amid fears the toll could rise. 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.Indian media said 30 children died on Thursday and Friday after oxygen supply was disrupted in wards housing the sick, allegedly because the suppliers' bills were not paid.

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"The next day, we were informed that he was dead."

- Resignation calls -

Gorakhpur's police commissioner Anil Kumar told AFP on Sunday that 11 more children had died at the hospital on Saturday.

"But I reiterate, they were not due to lack of oxygen supply," he said.

Doctors admitted that the oxygen supply had been disrupted for a couple of hours late Thursday, but said no deaths had occurred at that time.

The hospital's breakdown of the death toll showed a jump Thursday when 23 infants died, including 14 babies at its neo-natal unit.

The head of the hospital was stood down pending an inquiry into the oxygen shortage, which allegedly stemmed from nearly $100,000 in overdue bills, some dating back to November.

As anger grew over the deaths, opposition parties and government critics led the charge for Adityanath's resignation.

The fireband Hindu priest, who won India's largest state in a landslide in March, toured the hospital wards Sunday in his signature saffron robes and a blue medical mask and cap.

"This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of state government. The state government is fully responsible for it," Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, said late Saturday.

"The chief minister, health minister and the health secretary must immediately resign and doctors should not be blamed for this."

Train derails in northern India, killing at least 23 .
Six coaches of a passenger train derailed in northern India on Saturday, killing 23 people and injuring at least 81, officials said. Two of the coaches telescoped into each other, while four others toppled over after going off the track, said Arvind Kumar, a top official in Uttar Pradesh, the state where the derailment occurred.Neeraj Sharma, a railway spokesman, said the incident took place near the small town of Khatauli.The cause of the derailment was not immediately known, Sharma said.

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