UP govt denies oxygen disruption as cause for deaths at Gorakhpur hospital

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The Uttar Pradesh government has denied reports linking some of the deaths to a disruption in the supply of oxygen at Gorakhpur hospital that killed 30 children.

UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tondon. Photo credit: ANI
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"There have been no deaths due to lack of oxygen supply" at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College, said UP medical education minister Ashutosh Tondon, adding, "Seven people have died today, three deaths happened in the Neonatal ICU, two due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and two due to Non-AES."

Tandon also said that the district magistrate of Gorakhpur has ordered an investigation and "the report will be out within 24 hours".

District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela told reporters that oxygen supply was "disrupted" at the hospital when its regular vendor stopped service because previous bills had not been paid. But, he said, "The medical college officials told us that there was alternative oxygen supply, therefore the charge of lack of oxygen supply can be ruled out."

The medical college is the biggest hospital in Gorakhpur district that has been Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's parliamentary constituency for 19 years.

30 children have died in the last 48 hours at a hospital in UP Gorakhpur district, 60 in the last five days.

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