Lucknow, Aug 12 (IANS) The deaths of over 30 children in the past two days at a Gorakhpur hospital prompted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday to dispatch two cabinet ministers to the town with instructions to “spare none for the tragedy”.
Health Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh and Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon were directed by an “extremely unhappy” Adityanath to inspect the situation at the state-run facility and take strict action against those responsible, an official said.
Over the past five days more than 60 children at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital at the parliamentary constituency and hometown of the Chief Minister lost their lives due to encephalitis and reported lack of oxygen supply.
Under attack from opposition over the incident, Siddhartha Nath Singh has appealed not to “make this political”.
A delegation of the Congress led by party General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, UPCC chief Raj Babbar and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh is likely to visit the BRD Medical college later in the day.
The ministerial visit, officials informed, would involve preparing an exhaustive report on the reasons behind the tragedy.
The two ministers, before leaving for Gorakhpur, met Adityanath, who asked them “not to spare any one found guilty”.
Although there has been no official statement by Adityanath’s office on the incident, he is learnt to be monitoring the situation on an hourly basis.
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh has slammed the state BJP government over the incident and has called for the sacking of the Health Minister and other concerned officials.
Vaibhav Maheshwari, state spokesman of AAP told IANS “it was a matter of shame that the Chief Minister was mum on such a serious issue and that the state government was trying to defuse facts”.
The tragedy that struck the children, including many infants, in the last 48 hours were at the medical college that has been receiving massive funds from the state to tackle encephalitis, especially after Adityanath became the Chief Minister.
Attendants and family members of the patients admitted here, however, claim that despite the funds, there were neither doctors, nor proper treatment, adequate medicines or oxygen supply at the medical college.