The horror of crib deaths returned to Malda hospital, with eight babies dying since Tuesday evening in this North Bengal hospital, about 365 kms to the north of Kolkata.
Though the hospital authorities have put the number of deaths at six, newly appointed minister of state, health, Chandrima Bhattacharya put the number of deaths at eight in the past 24 hours.
The hospital authority has formed a committee to probe into the deaths.
Bengal has been hounded by the spectre of crib deaths since July when more than 100 babies have died in several short bursts in various state-run hospitals such as BC Roy hospital, Jangipur subdivisional hospital, Malda district hospital, Burdwan Medical College.
However, in each instance heavy rush of patients and critical condition of the babies were held as the cause of the deaths.
"Malda district hospital has been upgraded as medical college hospital last year but the infrastructure has remained the same. There is a dearth of doctors in the hospital,” said a senior doctor of the hospital.
“Four babies died on Tuesday and two today. However, two babies were born still,” he said.
“The babies, who died in this hospital in last 18-odd hours, were suffering from several ailments. Most of them were underweight, premature and were brought to the hospital at the very last moment," he said.
The principal of Malda medical college Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya said, "The babies, who have died at the sick newborn care unit, weighed only 900 grams and 1200 grams. They had very little immunity power.”