Nanded hospital death toll rises to 31, including 16 infants; Maharashtra cabinet to hold meeting
The death toll at Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College Hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded has jumped to 31 from Monday's tally of 24.
The Maharashtra government will convene a cabinet meeting to discuss the deaths of at least 31 patients, including 16 infants, at a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded district, said officials on Tuesday. The government has also formed an inquiry committee to probe the incident, said the officials.
The death toll at Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College Hospital has jumped to 31 from Monday's tally of 24.
“Maharashtra cabinet is to discuss the Nanded Hospital deaths in a meeting today. Cabinet may decide on forming an inquiry committee over the incident," an official told news agency ANI.
Twenty-four deaths, including that of 12 infants, were reported between September 30 and October 1 in a government hospital in Nanded due to inadequate facilities and a shortage of staff and medicines, according to officials.
Dr Dilip Mhaisekar, director, medical education and research, Maharashtra told news agency PTI, “In 24 hours, 24 deaths have been reported at Nanded government Hospital and Medical College (GMCH). Out of these 24 patients, 12 were infants who were referred here by some local private hospitals.”
Shyamrao Wakode, dean of the college, rejected allegations of negligence against the hospital and told news agency ANI that deceased patients were suffering from different ailments such as diabetes, liver failure, and kidney failure.
The deaths triggered a massive political row as the opposition slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned his silence on the matter. Opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar, Rahul Gandhi, Supriya Sule and Priyanka Chaturvedi, promptly hit out at the Eknath Shinde government over the reported deaths.
Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party wrote on social media X, formally Twitter, “The unfortunate incident of death of 24 people including 12 newborns in 24 hours in a government hospital in Nanded is literally shocking.”
Leader of the Opposition, Mallikarjun Kharge raised questions on the state government's health infrastructure and demanded a thorough investigation.
The top Congress leader said, “It is said that these patients died due to lack of medicines and treatment. A similar incident took place in a government hospital in Thane in August 2023 in which 18 patients lost their lives.”
"We demand a thorough investigation so that the culprits of this negligence are given strict punishment by the judiciary," he added.
Former chief minister and local Congress MLA Ashok Chavan visited the Nanded government hospital to review the situation. He said, “This is extremely unfortunate. Government medical colleges are in a serious crisis. Inadequate staff and shortage of medicines are responsible for the condition of this hospital."
Chavan added that when he discussed these issues with the dean, he was told that besides the 24 deaths in the last 24 hours, around 70 patients were in a serious condition. “Some of them have been referred to private hospitals,” he said, indicating that the death toll could rise.