Terming the tragic deaths of over 60 in a Gorakhpur hospital as 'unfortunate', the Congress and the Samajwadi Party on 12 August said it is a case of sheer negligence and held Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his government accountable for the mishap.
"Our heart goes out to the families of all those young children, who have perished due to sheer negligence or who have died due to sheer negligence," Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.
Tewari said the hospital administration, the oxygen supplier and the district administration, must be held guilty and charged for culpable homicide.
"The Chief Minister should take moral responsibility and step down and so must the health minister Siddharth Nath Signh and Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon," he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said that such a tragedy in the constituency of the Chief Minister shows the negligence of the authority, adding that it seems like the Gorakhpur authorities are not scared of anyone and have protected by the government at the Center.
"Gorakhpur is Yogi Adityanath's constituency and he has been there number of times after taking oath as the Chief Minister. It seems like the authorities of Gorakhpur are not sacred of anyone. They are being protected by the government at the Centre and hence they think that no action would be taken against them no matter what they do," he said.
Ram Gopal also asked the state government to compensate the family of the children who lost their lives in the incident and matter should be probed thoroughly.
In a development indicating clear negligence by the hospital authorities, a letter by the oxygen supply department in the Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital warning about shortage has been recovered.
The letter was written to the hospital authorities on August 3 and 10 informing them about the shortage of oxygen cylinders as the Pushpa Sales stopped supply over pending payment.
This serves as an another evidence proving that the hospital authority was well aware of the fact that there was shortage of liquid oxygen cylinder in the hospital, which allegedly claimed lives of over 30 infants.
In the letter it was clearly mentioned that the hospital had only limited stock available, which was sufficient to serve the requirement till August 10.
It also informed that even after several requests, the distributor of the liquid oxygen in the hospital stopped the supply due to the over pending payment, and clearly highlighted that the life of the patients of the ward is in danger.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh has assured quick action against those involved in the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen.
"People responsible for this will not be spared. Quick action will be taken against the ones responsible for this, as it is a very serious issue," Siddharth Nath said after meeting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath here.
State Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon reiterated the same and said action will be taken after detailed probe on the matter.
"The Chief Minister has given us proper instruction on this issue. We will leave for Gorakhpur soon and after details analysis of the situation will take further decision on the same," Tandon said.
Earlier in the day, the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital claimed lives of three more children.
The shortage of oxygen allegedly led to encephalitis, which is a sudden onset inflammation of the brain, following which the children died.
The families of the children have claimed that the doctors were not treating them well and the hospital was not even providing the medicines which were required for the treatment.
As per the locals, though the hospital is supposed to provide free medical assistance, neither there is proper medical facility available nor are the patients provided free medicines.
On Friday, it was reported that as many as 30 children lost their lives due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours at the hospital.
Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said that the cause of the deaths at the BRD Hospital was the disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen and has further appealed to the suppliers to not cut the supply henceforth.
Meanwhile, according to data procured from the BRD hospital, in past five days - from 7 August to 11 August , a total of 60 deaths have occurred in the hospital.