The hospital authorities issued a lame cause for these child deaths - low birth weight and birth asphyxia. Eight babies, they claimed, were from Bihar and Jharkhand and six of them had died before they were admitted.
Statistics apart, the authorities blamed the increase in inflow of patients and inadequate infrastructure. At the neo-natal ward, the new-born babies are kept on floors.
This being the condition there could be more deaths in future as weather turns cold. The crib deaths tend to go up in winters due to rise in breathing problems among malnourished infants. Dr Asit Biswas, spokesperson of Health Department, said a meeting has been convened with the chief medical officer while admitting that "It is true that many babies died in the last few days, but the numbers don't worry us."
Last year, 109 babies had died at Malda Hospital and the administration as well as the local MP with the health ministry under his thumb are yet to wake up.
What did the Union Minister do? Khan Chowdhury on Tuesday assured Mamata Banerjee of help, saying he'll send an expert team from the health ministry if Mamata Banerjee "agrees".