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UP CM Yogi Adityanath visits Gorakhpur hospital, says guilty won’t be spared

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath visited the hospital in Gorakhpur where 30 children died in 48 hours as oxygen supply was disrupted over payment dispute.

india Updated: Aug 13, 2017 21:35 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Gorakhpur, Hindustan Times
Yogi Adityanath,Gorakhpur,Gorakhpur hospital
Yogi Adityanath during a press conference at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur.(Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday assured action against officials of Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, where 30 children suffering from Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) died within 48 hours since August 10.

A committee, constituted under the chairmanship of state chief secretary, and a central government team inquiring into the cause of deaths will submit their reports soon, he said.

“Let the reports come. I assure you, if anyone’s negligence caused the death of a person, in any part of UP, he won’t be spared,” he said.

The UP government had on Saturday suspended the college principal and denied that a cut in liquid oxygen supply by a private firm over delay in payments caused the deaths.

Addressing a press conference with Union health minister JP Nadda, Adityanath said the issue of non-payment of arrears to the oxygen supplier company was not brought to his notice.

“The principal told me that the fund for payment of arrears was credited in the medical college’s account on August 7. The inquiry committee will find out the (reason for) delay in the release of the arrears to the supplier,” he said.

Adityanath, who represents Gorakhpur in Lok Sabha, turned emotional and recalled his fight against encephalitis that has killed over 50,000 children in eastern UP in the last three decades, including nearly 3,000 in BRD medical college since 2012.

“I have seen children infected with JE/AES dying. I launched a movement on the issue on the streets of Gorakhpur,” he said, adding that after he raised the issue in Lok Sabha, the central government introduced various facilities in the medical college.

“There is a need to launch a massive drive for the eradication of the killer disease,” he stressed, and said the state government had taken measures, including launching a vaccination drive before monsoon, setting up ICUs in district hospitals and upgrading facilities in health centres.

The chief minister hit out at the opposition for politicising the death of children, and accused Congress leaders of being insensitive about the deaths.

He also recalled that Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had visited BRD medical college when he was Union health minister, had expressed his inability to check the deaths and provide better facilities to the patients.

Adityanath also lashed out at the media, saying instead of “doing fake reporting” from outside the hospital without knowing the facts, they “should visit the wards, see the arrangements made for the patients, including the supply of oxygen”.

“I have directed the DG Medical Education to allow mediapersons to enter the wards and talk to the patients, attendants and doctors,” he said.

“I sent the DG Medical Education on Friday after the media reported the deaths in the medical college hospital. I also sought a report from the district magistrate. On Saturday, I sent the health minister and the medical education minister. Both have submitted their report. I visited today (Sunday) to take stock of the situation in the medical college,” he said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2017 16:44 IST