Highlights Gorakhpur tragedy: Yogi assures action against erring officers, Centre extends support
At least 30 children have died since August 10 in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College Hospital amid allegations that a private contractor stopped supplying oxygen cylinders.india Updated: Aug 13, 2017 18:25 IST
A day after the Uttar Pradesh government suspended the principal of a medical college in Gorakhpur following the deaths of at least 30 children since August 10, chief minister Yogi Adityanath – who represented the eastern city for almost two decades in Parliament – visited the hospital to take stock of the situation.
Union health minister JP Nadda also visited the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur on Sunday.
The deaths of the children shocked India and triggered a political blame game.
Here are the highlights:
3:45pm: Centre approves setting up of a regional medical centre in Gorakhpur for research into children’s ailments. It will be built at a cost of Rs 85 crore, says Union health minister JP Nadda
3.09pm: A three-member team of AIIMS doctors sent by Centre visits encephalitis ward at the hospital.
2.47pm: Adityanath says that at a high-level meeting on August 9, he had said action will be taken against doctors who had private practice. “During the meeting, I had asked the officers to inform me about any shortcomings in the hospital,” he says, and adds, “The (medical college) principal had said that, on August 7, funds were credited to the account.”
The UP CM says that 9,000 patients visit BRD Medical college every day and 500 patients are admitted in the ward.
2.42pm: Answering questions from the media, Adityanath says, “Congress is playing politics. Ghulam Nabi Azad as health minister had visited here and express helplessness over deaths. The Congress is being insensitive. Visit the wards and find out if there was breakdown on oxygen supply or not.”
Adityanath also said that action will be taken once the chief secretary submits the report.
2.35pm: Nadda says,“The Prime Minister is concerned about the deaths and asking for regular updates. The Central government has taken several initiatives for Gorakhpur. For better treatment, a three-member team of specialist doctors is here.”
Nadda says Adityanath has raised issue of Japanese encaphalatis in Parliament regularly. “On his advice, JE has been included in universal vaccination. A Rs 85-crore research centre will be set up in Gorakhpur and a Regional Center Medical Research will be established here,” he says.
2.24pm: JP Nadda addresses the media. He says, “The Centre is supporting the UP government in every way possible.”
2.20 pm: Asserting that encephalitis is the reason behind the deaths of the children, Adityanath says his government has done a lot to tackle the disease.
“I will discuss the issue in detail once the report on it comes in,” he says.
Adityanath says “I have told Nadda that there is need for Viral Research Center in Gorakhpur to study vector borne diseases. Nadda has given assurance.The Prime Minister has given AIIMS to Gorakhpur. Specialist team has been sent to Gorakhpur.”
2.18 pm: Adityanath also says he will allow the media into the wards. “Stop reporting from outside. Let the photographers into the wards and see what is really going on,” he says.
2.17pm: Adityanath says, “I have fought for encephalitis patients from the streets to the Parliament. Visit the district hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres. Nodal officers have been appointed.
Chief Secretary has constituted a committee to inquire into this incident.After their report, strict action will be taken against erring officers. Report will be sought from all medical colleges.”
2.15pm: Adityanath says, “We have come to conclusion that an investigation into this incident is necessary.”
“This is my fourth visit to the BRD Medical College since becoming chief minister...I’ve been fighting encephalitis here since 1996-97,” he says.
2.07pm: Yogi Adityanath addresses the media.
1.45pm: Kamal Haasan comments on the tragedy.
Children of UP die. @k_satyarthi's request to UP CM is the best course. See that it never happens again. India mourns its loss.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) August 13, 2017
On Friday, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has tweeted:
Appeal to CM @myogiadityanath Ji. Your decisive intervention can correct decades of corrupt medical system of UP to prevent such incidents.— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
1:30pm: CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury tells ANI: “Criminal negligence. Sixty-three children died due to lack of oxygen. People must be made accountable.”
1.21pm: Adityanath finishes inspecting the ward and holds a meeting with a panel of doctors.
1.20pm: Babbar demands Rs one crore compensation for each of the victims. He also hints the Congress may hit the roads over this issue but does not give a date for holding protest.
1.17pm: Raj Babbar calls the deaths of the children “nothing less than cold blooded murder”.
Referring to Siddharth Nath Singh’s remark that deaths always take place in August, Babbar urges the state health minister to disassociate himself from late MP Lal Bahadur Shastri’s name. Singh is Shastri’s grandson.
1.12pm: Congress demands the chief minister’s resignation.
Addressing the media in Gorakhpur, UP Congress president Raj Babbar calls Yogi Adityanath “inexperienced and incompetent” and says he must be dismissed or made to resign. He also asks that if the CM cannot take care of a hospital right under his nose, how he can take care of UP.
1.10pm: During Adityanath’s visit, supply has been discontinued at the medicine counter. No patient or attendant is allowed to move in or go out.
1.00pm: Congress attacks the state government:
12.57pm: The chief minister and Union health minister are expected to address the media after inspection of the wards. The entry of attendants into the encephalitis ward has been restricted during their visit.
12.48pm: Minor mishap during CM’s visit as glass of the entrance door to the ward breaks during scuffle between mediapersons and policemen.
12.38pm: After Adityanath and Nadda enter the encephalitis ward, the door is closed behind them.
12.31pm: Dr PK Singh, Principal of Rajkiya Medical College, Ambedkar Nagar, has been given additional charge of BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur with immediate effect.
12.29pm: CM Yogi Adityanath and Union minister JP Nadda arrive at the hospital.
12.17pm: Doctors wait for Yogi Adityanath and JP Nadda at the gate of encephalitis ward.
12.14pm: A team of senior doctors arrive at the encephalitis ward before Adityanath’s visit.
12.10pm: Tainted MLA Amanmani Tripathi also reaches BRD hospital along with BJP leader ahead of Adityanath’s visit.
11.55am: Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor accused the UP government of sheer negligence, demanding a strict action against the accused.
Speaking to ANI in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor said, “Frankly, this is a terrible situation which shocked the country. The vulnerable members of our society are suffering because of the negligence and the bills not paid by the UP Government.”
Tharoor further asserted that the situation in Gorakhpur’s BRD hospitals states that after years of independence where our country’s priorities lie.
“This (UP Government) is presenting crores on advertising and not paying the bill. This is not forgivable,” he said.
11.41am: Nadda arrives. CM and union minister leave for BRD hospital.
11.40am: CM Adityanath arrives at airport and waits for JP Nadda to reach.
11.39am: Two more deaths reported since today morning.
11.36am: All wards where children have been admitted have cops standing to check entry.
11.35am: UPCC president Raj Babbar will hold a press conference in Lucknow at 12:30pm. He visited the hospital, along with Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Saturday.
11.32am: Preparations are in full swing ahead of Yogi Adityanath’s visit with metal detectors being set up at the entrance gate of the ward.
11.31am: Local MLAs and BJP leaders enter the encephalitis ward before the chief minister’s arrival. Security personnels face tough time in controlling the leaders.
11.20am: Before his visit, Adityanath tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by the heartrending incident at BRD Medical College. In this moment, my thoughts are with the aggrieved families.”
10.47am: Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on his way to Gorakhpur to look into the situation.
10.39am: Union health minister JP Nadda to visit Gorakhpur on Sunday.
10.35am: Another child dies on Sunday due to encephalitis in Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital, reports ANI news agency. Report says toll has now crossed 70.
10.30am: Another batch of liquid oxygen cylinders brought to BRD Hospital on Sunday.
(With agency inputs.)