According to hospital authorities, all these babies were grossly underweight and prematurely born. Most of them were referred from district hospitals and were in critical condition when they arrived.
On an average about three to four deaths are reported every day and the number goes up to five during winter and monsoon seasons, sources close to West Bengal's biggest referral hospital said. Crib deaths have tormented the Mamata Banerjee government intermittently with 2011 and 2012 being particularly bad years, when a series of deaths hit government hospitals in Murshidabad and Malda.
In October 2002, 31 babies died in a space of three days. In November 2006, 22 newborns perished in a similar period of time. In January 2012, 31 crib deaths occurred in 96 hours.