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Gorakhpur child deaths | District magistrate submits report: 10 updates

About 70 children have died at a Gorakhpur hospital in the past week as it ran out of medical supplies because of unpaid bills, triggering public outrage. Here’s what the district magistrate says in his report:

india Updated: Aug 17, 2017 10:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Gorakhpur deaths,BRD hospital,Kafeel Khan
This file photo taken on August 12 shows relatives mourning the death of a child at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur.(AFP File Photo)

The Gorakhpur district administration has sent its report on child deaths at the BRD Medical College hospital to the Uttar Pradesh government, according to television reports.

Officials have, however, refused to speak on the contents of the report. A TV report said Gorakhpur district magistrate Rajeev Rautela indicted doctors, para medical staff and clerks of the medical college. Here are 10 latest developments in the case:

1) The Yogi Adityanath-led government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the deaths on August 12. About 70 children have died at the hospital in the past week as it ran out of medical supplies because of unpaid bills, triggering anger across the country. Rautela was asked to complete the probe and send his report to the chief secretary.

2) According to NDTV, the head of the hospital’s anaesthesia department, Dr Satish Kumar, has been primarily held responsible for the crisis.

3) The TV report said there were gaps in coordination between top doctors at the hospital.

4) Five more encephalitis-related child deaths were reported from the Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital since Tuesday, taking to 71 the number of persons who have died here of the disease since August 7, officials said.

5) Oxygen supply is an emergency service and the company cannot suspend supply, the DM’s report says. The DM also indicted Dr Satish Kumar, member of the purchase committee who went on leave on August 11 without taking the principal’s permission. The air conditioner installed in the encephalitis ward was faulty but Dr Kumar did not get it repaired, the report said.

6) In Lucknow, amid allegations that shortage of oxygen cylinders at the hospital had led to the deaths, Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that loss of life due to such a reason was nothing less than a “heinous crime”.

7) Chief secretary Rajive Kumar confirmed he had received the DM’s report. However, there was no official confirmation on the contents of the report.

8) The Hindu has reported that a three-member Central government committee said the deaths were not caused by shortage of oxygen supply. “In fact, the number of deaths have reduced compared to last year,’’ The Hindu quoted said Dr Harish Chellani, Safdarjung Hospital, Pediatric Department, who was part of the team, as saying.

9) A public interest litigation has been filed in the Allahabad high court, seeking a judicial inquiry into the deaths at the BRD Hospital.

10) The petitioners have blamed the deaths on “carelessness” of the doctors at the hospital and further contended that although encephalitis claims many young lives every year there were no effective measures to contain the outbreak of the vector-borne disease.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 09:29 IST