Doctors work on patients with encephalitis at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, eastern Uttar Pradesh, India, on November 13, 2011. Twenty-three children died last Thursday when, according to the statement, "the pressure of the liquid oxygen supply became low and 52 reserve oxygen cylinders were pressed into service".
Another child succumbed to encephalitis on Sunday, taking the death toll over 70.
The children's deaths have sparked a political row, with the hospital authorities accused of negligence. What's more? It was a tragedy waiting to happen because Pushpa Sales, the company providing liquid oxygen to the hospital, had threatened to stop the supply due to non-payment of outstanding dues worth nearly 70 lakh. "A total of 30 deaths occurred in the past 48 hours", he added.
Union Minister of State for health and family welfare Anupriya Patel visited Lucknow to take stock of the situation. Dr Misra said that the hospital has been asking for funds from the government for a while now.
Addressing a press conference after conducting an inspection of the hospital on Sunday, Yogi said that a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of chief secretary to probe the tragic incident.
The Uttar Pradesh government's medical education department, in a letter to the medical colleges, also directed them to immediately pay all the outstanding dues to the oxygen suppliers (if any).
"There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply".
Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said that the cause of the deaths at the BRD Hospital was the disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen and has further appealed to the suppliers to not cut the supply henceforth.
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.
About 24 hours after the accident, the Yogi who came in front of the media said, "I have visited BRD Hospital on 9th July and 9th August".
The uncle of an 11-year-old girl who died at the hospital told ABP news channel: "We didn't know what was happening at the time".
UP director general, medical education, K K Gupta told TOI, "Prima facie, the deaths did not take place due to problem in oxygen supply". Later, the chief of the hospital was suspended by the Yogi goverment.