9 More Deaths Confirmed in Gorakhpur Hospital Raising Toll to 105

Around 105 children have died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, the parliamentary constituency of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in the last five days.

Reports suggest the deaths were caused by the spread of encephalitis and a shortage of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward.

Terming the tragedy an “unfortunate” incident, CM Adityanath said that a committee has been formed to probe into the matter and it will submit a detailed report.

  • Nine more children were confirmed from BRD Hospital over last 24 hours
  • An estimated 105 children have died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical Hospital & College over the past one week
  • PM Modi addressed the tragedy in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday
  • UP government has formed a committee to investigate the deaths
  • Dr Kafeel Khan was sacked from the post of Nodal Officer for the Department of Paediatrics
  • UP CM Yogi Adityanath has vowed to probe the deaths of the children

Deaths of nine more children were confirmed by Dr PK Singh from the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in the last 24 hours between Thursday and Friday, Hindustan Times reported.

Among the nine deaths, five were from the neonatal ward, two from encephalitis and two from the general pediatric ward.

Earlier in July, the UP government announced that the budget alloted for the 14 state-run medical colleges, of which BRD Medical College is one, has been reduced from Rs 2,344 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 11,48 crore in 2017-18.

Out of this, the funds for BRDMC dropped from Rs Rs 15.9 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 7.8 crore in 2017-18.

Particularly, the budgetary allocation for machinery and equipment was reduced from Rs 3 crore to Rs 75 lakh, reported Times of India.

Another 34 children died in the BRD Hospital at Gorakhpur due to encephalitis between Monday and Tuesday, reported Hindustan Times.

According to hospital records, twenty four deaths happened on Monday, of which fifteen were in the neonatal ward, five in the encephalitis ward and four in other wards. On Tuesday, ten deaths were recorded of which seven were in the NICU ward and three in the encephalitis ward.

Gorakhpur DM R Rautela’s report on the Gorakhpur tragedy has confirmed that there was a lack of oxygen in the hospital and blamed “financial irregularities” for the delay in payment to the supplier.

It has blamed the firm Pushpa Sales, Principal RK Mishra and Anesthesia Department's Dr. Satish for the delay.

The report further says that the hospital officials did not make timely payments and that they did not pay heed to the reminders that defaulting on this could have repercussions.

Social activist Nutan Thakur on Wednesday filed a PIL in the Allahabad High Court with regard to the death of over 60 children at a Gorakhpur hospital last week, seeking a judicial probe into the tragedy.

As per the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the HC's Lucknow bench, the Uttar Pradesh government and its agencies were trying to deny facts coming out in the media about the deaths occurring due to oxygen shortage at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, which gives out the message that they were trying to hide facts and shield the guilty.

Thakur said she had sought a judicial inquiry into the matter so that the facts emerge and the guilty do not go unpunished.

An investigation of medical records of Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital has now revealed that encephalitis was not the cause of the many deaths of children that took place between 10 to 12 August, Mint reported.

This is in contradiction with the state government's version, which cites encephalitis - and not lack of oxygen supply - as the main reason for the deaths.

The hospital records reportedly show that encephalitis was responsible for six out of 30 deaths on 10 and 11 August. On 12 August, out of the 13 children who died, only one was suffering from encephalitis.

Dinesh Kapil, a senior consultant, pediatrics, Red Cross Hospital, was quoted by Mint as saying:

Newborn babies don’t suffer from AES (acute encephalitis syndrome). The list of deceased clearly shows that only five children died of AES and one due to hepatic encephalopathy. As per the list, all other babies were newborns who were apparently in need of expert emergency care services. Such cases are very critical and need continuous supply of ventilation.

The number of deaths of children at the BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur this year was lesser than that of previous year, a panel of doctors from Delhi has said in its interim report.

The panel had gone to Gorakhpur to look into the deaths of children and has submitted the report to the additional health secretary of the central government.

The team said that 200 deaths were reported at the state-run hospital in July this year as compared to 292 deaths during the same period last year.

With a recent spurt in fatalities after the tragedy in the Gorakhpur hospital, the death toll now stands at 104, The Hindu reported.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the UP government on Monday terming the case a serious violation of the right to life of patients The Hindu reported.

The NHRC asked the UP chief secretary for a detailed report within four weeks after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports.

The commission seeks information about the steps taken for the families of the victims and the action against officials concerned.

NHRC told The Hindu.However, in spite of the assurance given by the State administration, the situation has not improved.

As an MP, Yogi Adityanath, raised the issue of children dying in Gorakhpur at least 20 times between the years of 2003 and 2014, The Indian Express reported.

The Indian Express analysed Lok Sabha questions and answers submitted by members of parliament to show how Yogi Adityanath raised multiple issues including limitations in infrastructural facilities, need of an AIIMS in the region and the lack of coordinated efforts between the state and central government in tackling the encephalitis epidemic.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan called the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy “irreversible,” in his address at the Independence Day function on Tuesday, IANS reported.

The Gorakhpur incident is one which is irreversible, and we can never get back what has been lost.

An RSS funcitonary has said the UP government should do ‘penance’ for the deaths.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Sanghchalak of the Avadh region, Prabhu Narayan, expressed his displeasure over the deaths of over 60 children in a Facebook post, adding that the state government cannot escape moral responsibility for it, IANS reported.

He said while the "niyat" (intentions) of CM Adityanath are good, the statistics and explanation offered are unfair.

Former Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the UP CM Yogi Adityanath of not taking any step to get central aid to improve facilities at the concerned hospital.

Adityanath had said, “When Azad was Union Health Minister, he had said he cannot do anything (about Japanese encephalitis in Gorakhpur) since health is a state subject."

Azad responded by saying he had never seen Adityanath during his tenure in the health ministry.

Former Union Health Minister He had never approached me, he had never talked to me (on the issue). Have you ever been to the Health Ministry? So in spite of being and MP and Chief Minister now for six months, he has not taken interest in the hospital.

In his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his respect to the children who died in a Gorakhpur hospital recently.

He said that India should stand in “solidarity with all those suffering due to natural disasters and the horrific tragedy in Gorakhpur.”

PM Narendra ModiMany of our innocent children died in a hospital. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected. 

Congress leader Anand Sharma, reacting to Modi’s speech, said that the prime minister should have been “careful” in addressing Gorakhpur.

Anand Sharma, Congress leaderPM in a very trivial manner equated the Gorakhpur tragedy to the other natural calamities, he should’ve been careful.

The Uttar Pradesh government late on Monday night formed a committee headed by Chief Secretary Rajeev Kumar to probe the death of children at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur over the past one week.

Notification of the committee has been issued by the state government. The panel has been mandated to complete its investigation within five days and submit a report to the Chief Minister on 19 August.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had two days back announced formation of such a committee.

Encephalitis claims the life of an 8-year old, who was being treated at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, taking the death toll to 65.

BJP National Secretary, Amit Shah suggested that India isn’t new to such incidents like Gorakhpur tragedy where 64 children lost their lives in BRD medical college.

He told reporters:

Congress only asks for resignations. Such a huge country faces many such incidents. This is not the first time that this has happened.

When asked whether it wasn’t insensitive of CM Adityanath to order grand celebrations of janmashtami after the deaths of the children, Shah said:

Janmashtami is not a government festival, it will be celebrated in UP as per people’s beliefs.

NHRC sent a notice to the government of Uttar Pradesh over the deaths of at least 64 children in BRD Medical College.

Moved by the Gorakhpur tragedy, BJP Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi on Monday pledged Rs 5 crore from his MP development fund to build a state-of-the-art paediatric wing in Sultanpur district hospital.

"The human tragedy in Gorakhpur has left me jolted." While grieving the terrible loss of lives of all the children, the incident must "act as an impetus" to take actions that serve as a deterrent to recurrence of such an event, the 37-year-old MP said in a statement.

Yogi Adityanath’s grand celebration on the occasion of janmashtami only a few days after 64 children died at the Baba Raqhav Das (BRD) medical college drew criticism from the BJP’s opponents.

UP CM Adityanath had directed, “Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival and the police should organise it in a traditional and grand way.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has reacted sharply to the missive.

Vaibhav Maheshwari, AAP SpokespersonThis is ironical, tragic and in some ways reflective of the mindset of powers that be...

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to take cognizance of the recent deaths of children at a government hospital at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

The bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the lawyer, who mentioned the issue before it, to approach the Allahabad High Court with his grievances.

The lawyer has also sought an SIT probe into the deaths of children at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College (BRD) hospital in Gorakhpur.

The court observed that the authorities were handling the situation and the grievances, if any, have to be raised before the high court concerned.

Samajwadi Party workers threw eggs and tomatoes at UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh's Allahabad residence in protest over the Gorakhpur incident.

Speaking to ANI, UP’s Director General for Medical Education said that the deaths could not be pinned to lack of oxygen supply as ‘this is peak season for encephalitis’.

He further slammed ex-principal Dr Rajeev Mishra, alleging his work was disorganised and substandard. On Dr Kafeel Khan, he said,

When there were already 52 cylinders in stock, Dr Kafeel Khan has not achieved much by bringing in 3 extra cylinders.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Faggan Singh Kulaste has alleged a conspiracy in the Gorakhpur deaths.

There might be a conspiracy in this. The statistics of deaths before 9 and between 9-12 clearly show that they (the deaths) were caused by external pressures. 

The UP Congress on Sunday termed the large number of infant deaths in a Gorakhpur hospital "murder" and demanded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's resignation. How will he run a state if he can’t handle an institution, opposition leaders demanded to know.

"70 children were murdered in the last four days (since August 10). The state government is responsible for their murder. This government is a killer and I want to ask how many more children will be killed," Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar told reporters in Lucknow.

"When a chief minister is unable to handle a medical college in his home district, how would he run the state? He should immediately resign from his post," he told a press conference.

Demanding a compensation of Rs 1 crore each for the victim's parents, he said a case of murder should be lodged against the guilty.

Dr PK Singh, Principal of Rajkiya Medical College, Ambedkar Nagar, has been given additional charge of BRD Medical College. Dr Rajeev Mishra had earlier resigned from the post as principal following the death of the infants.

Dr Bhupendra Sharma has been appointed as new Nodal Officer for the Department of Pediatrics of Baba Raghav Das Medical College, after Dr Kafeel Ahmed was relieved from his duties.

Dr Kafeel Khan, who has been touted to have saved several lives at the encephalitis ward, has been relieved of his hospital duties.

As soon as Dr Khan knew of the oxygen supply shortage on the night of 11 August, he reportedly shelled money from his own wallet to save the lives of the children.

According to Hindustan Times, he also showed the attendants in the ward methods to provide artificial respiration to patients.

Several citizens in Delhi took to Jantar Mantar to protest the deaths of the children in Gorakhpur.

The Union government has approved the setting up of a regional medical centre at a cost of Rs 85 crore in Gorakhpur for in-depth research into children's diseases, Health minister J P Nadda said today.

Nadda, who was addressing a press conference along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, said that before coming to Gorakhpur he had given his nod to the proposal for a regional medical research centre.

During the last parliamentary session, I had assured Adityanath ji that a full-fledged institute will soon be set up, he said.

Addressing the media after visiting the BRD Hospital & Medical College in Gorakhpur, UP CM Yogi Adityanath vowed to probe the tragedy. “PM Modi is concerned over children's deaths in Gorakhpur," he said.

I am the representative of Gorakhpur, “nobody can be more sensitive towards the children who have died than me,” the UP CM said. I was the first to raise alarm over the spread of Japanese encephalitis in the country, he added.

He also said that he had visited the hospital four times after being appointed UP CM.

The prinicipal and doctors of the Baba Raghav Das hospital did not raise the issue of shortage of oxygen cylinders during the 9 August visit of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the state-run facility, the Uttar Pradesh government said on Saturday.

"UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited BRD Medical College hospital on 9 July and 9 August, and held elaborate discussions with doctors and the principal. The issue of gas supply did not came up and was even not brought to his notice by the doctors and principal," UP Health minister Siddarth Nath Singh told reporters in Gorakhpur.

Terming the death of so many childen in a day as "shocking", he said that the UP government was a "sensitive government" and was not trying to play down the report of the death of 23 children in a day (on 10 August).

"Information about even a single death should be there," he added.

Principal of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur Dr Rajeev Mishra, who was suspended following the death of 30 infants within a span of 48 hours since 10 August, has resigned from the post.

Confirming the resignation of Mishra, UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said,

Yes, he has resigned. But no good, because we have already suspended him and initiated enquiry of his misdoings.

In his letter to the Director General of Medical Education and Training, the principal said that he tendered his resignation from the post. He said he was taking the moral responsibility for the recent death of 30 children admitted in the hospital's paediatric ward.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on 12 August, addressed the Gorakhpur tragedy publicly for the first time. He termed the incident “unfortunate” and said that he was glad that the media covered the incident.

Addressing the press, Adityanath said that “all deaths” in the hospital did not occur due to lack of oxygen supply.

UP CM Yogi AdityanathWill be getting a detailed report on the cause of deaths. Not all of them were due to lack of oxygen.

Adityanath added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed “concern” over the incident and that the Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel will visit Gorakhpur on Sunday to take stock of the situation.

UP CM Yogi AdityanathWe have constituted a committee to be lead by the Chief Secretary to inquire the role of oxygen supplier in the incident.

He informed that while the supplier had stopped providing oxygen, supply of oxygen was still available in the cylinders.

Addressing a rally at Raichur in Karnataka, Congress Vice President said that his party stands in support with the bereaved families in Gorakhpur.

In UP’s Gorakhpur more than 60 children have died. Congress party is with the bereaved families.

Calling the deaths a ‘heart-wrenching incident’, LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan urged for strong action to be taken by the Yogi government.

It’s heart-wrenching. I am unable to sleep for the last two days. Will speak to Yogi ji, strong action should be taken.

The Centre on Saturday sought a detailed report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the deaths of more than 60 children in the past five days at a Gorakhpur hospital, said Health Ministry sources.

Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Health Secretary CK Mishra were asked to visit Gorakhpur and look into the various lapses at the BRD Medical College where these children were admitted, a Ministry official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Amid these developments, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh suspended the principal of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, where the deaths occurred, for negligence.

Health Secretary Mishra has reached Gorakhpur while Patel was expected to reach there soon.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda spoke to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and assured him all assistance from the Central Government, reported ANI.

Adityanath told Nadda that all aspects of the deaths at BRD Medical College are being examined.

While speaking on the sidelines of a public event, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called encephalitis a “challenge”, but did not directly address the issue of children’s death at Gorakhpur.

He said that the disease has been haunting the state since 1978, and pinned the reason behind it to be lack of sanitation.

Yogi Adityanath, UP CMEncephalitis has existed since 1978, children’s deaths in eastern UP is due to dirt and open defecation.

Rajiv Mishra

Speaking to the media post his supposed sacking, the principal of the hospital Rajiv Mishra denied that he had been suspended from the hospital, and had instead tendered his resignation.

I wrote my resignation prior to that (suspension), taking responsibility of death of innocent children

He also claimed that there was no default in payment to the oxygen suppliers, and that they had been paid on time.

Owing to his negligence over the situation, the dean of the BRD Medical College has been suspended with immediate effect, announced Ashutosh Tandon, Minister for Medical Education.

We are suspending BRD medical college principal with immediate effect for this negligent behaviour. A high level probe is to take place, headed by Principal Secretary. We will wait for report, and then action will be taken. Till then, we are suspending the principal.

Addressing a press conference, UP Health Minister Siddarth Nath Singh said that the deaths were not due to a lack in oxygen supply.

On 10 August, at 7.30 pm the liquid oxygen levels were low. The hospitals pipes are facilitated in a manner where in if the levels drop, then supply automatically switches to gas cylinders. There was a supply from cylinders till 11.30 pm, after which oxygen was supplied through Ambubags. At 1.30 am, new cylinder were arranged, and supply was continued through them. From 7.30 pm to 10 pm, 7 deaths happened, and none were due to lack of oxygen supply.  

Slamming the hospital authorities, Singh also pulled them up for not having briefed the CM of the gas supply situation when he visited the hospital on 9 August.

Prime Minister is constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur, with constant updates through MoS Anupriya Patel, tweeted the PM’s Office, through its official twitter handle.

MoS Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel told ANI that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deeply saddened by the deaths in Gorakhpur.

She will be arriving shortly at the hospital to take stock of the situation.

BSP Chief Mayawati announced that she has sent a 3-member team to Gorakhpur to take stock of the situation in the hospital and update her.

Addressing the media, she urged the BJP to take responsibility and launch a probe against the concerned authorities.

The BJP should accept responsibility and help the victims’ kin. The CM should launch take action against the concerned people and treat this matter with high importance. 

Amid the furore being witnessed in Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital, a ray of hope was seen when a private company, which earlier had supplied cylinders to the hospital, provided over 200 cylinders despite having no contract or tender with the hospital.

Modi Chemical Private Limited used to supply oxygen cylinders to the hospital, however, the hospital ended its contract with the company in March.

But, this did not stop Praveen Modi, owner of the company, from fulfilling his duty as a human being.

"When we came to know about the shortage of oxygen and the deaths following it, we supplied around 200-300 cylinders to the hospital out of humanity," Praveen Modi told ANI.

However, the hospital still owes Rs. 20 lakh to the company.

Accusing the BJP government to be behind the deaths of the children, former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said that the government cannot shirk its responsibilities now.

“BJP cannot bring back the lost lives, but now they should step up and help the families of the victims.. Instead, they are running away from their responsibilities. They are scared to face the people who elected them into power”, he said.

He also urged the Yogi Adityanath government to come forward and announce compensation to the victim’s kin. Further highlighting the government’s negligence, he brought up the fact that the hospital authorities defaulted payment despite constant reminders from the oxygen suppliers.

Akhilesh Yadav, Former UP Chief MinisterThe suppliers wrote a letter to the dean about the default in payment, but it went unnoticed... UP knows that their children have died due to BJP’s negligence. 

Both Dean of Medical College and CM Yogi Ignored Reminders?

The reminder sent by Pushpa Sales.

The letter sent to the Dean of the medical college and CM Adityanath clearly states that the debt owed to Pushpa sales amounts to Rs 52,34,774, failing to pay which the medical college will be responsible for any mishap.

According to several media reports, the police has conducted raids at the office of Pushpa Sales, the oxygen suppliers to the hospital. An FIR has been lodged against the company.

TImes Now also reported that the owner of the company is currently absconding.

Meenu Walia from Pushpa Gas Agency, the oxygen suppliers to the BRD hospital denied that the deaths were caused due to a shortage in the supply of oxygen.

to ANIDeaths not due to oxygen supply cut-off, no one can stop supply like this, we know consequences.

She further said that the hospital authorities failed to comply with their repeated communications regarding default in payments.

“It is a heart-wrenching incident. We are saddened by the deaths. This is all because of the state government's carelessness. The CM should apologise to the country and he, along with the Health Minister, must resign. The CM is from this constituency (Gorakhpur). He cannot back away from this responsibility… The doctors of this hospital are not at fault,” said Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

"For one month, news reporters had been writing how the hospital administration had alerted the state government about the pending bills of oxygen suppliers. But neither the Health Ministry nor the CM paid any attention to it,” Azad said.

He alleged that the parents of the deceased kids were sent back to their homes so that they do not speak to journalists and others about the reasons behind the tragedy.

A Congress delegation, comprising of senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar, reached the BRD Medical College on Saturday to enquire about the incident.

“What happened was due to lapse on the UP government’s part,” said Congress leader RPN Singh.

UP’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya lashed out at the Opposition saying they are giving statements in “haste”.

Keshav Prasad MauryaUP government is committed to service of people... Strict action will be taken.

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi expressed his outrage at the deaths saying, “This is not a tragedy. It’s a massacre”.

Denying that the children had died due to lack of oxygen, he confirmed that there was a shortage of liquid oxygen at the medical college and that due to non-payment of Rs 70 lakh, the vendor supplying oxygen had stopped the supply.

However, he said the principal had told him that for emergency use, alternative arrangements had been made.

He added that part payment of Rs 35 lakh had been made to the vendor and that he had been requested not to disrupt the oxygen supply.

ANI accessed a letter sent by the department handling oxygen supply to authorities on 3 and 10 August to inform them of the shortage of oxygen cylinders due to pending payment.

(ANI Screengrab)

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday denied media reports that more than 30 children had died at the hospital due to lack of oxygen.

A statement issued by the state Information Department termed reports shown by “some TV channels as misleading” and that the District Magistrate was personally stationed at the medical college to keep a vigil on the situation emanating out of the death of seven patients on Friday due to “different medical reasons”.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday night ordered a magisterial probe.

State Health Minister Siddarth Nath Singh told TV channels that “a lot of people come suffering from high fever and if they don’t get treated, it may result in death”.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @JeelaniKash)

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