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Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Investigation initiated, assures UP Dy. CM Maurya

Gorakhpur hospital tragedy: Investigation initiated, assures UP Dy. CM Maurya

She also termed as "irresponsible" Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh's remarks that "many children die" in the month of August every year at the Gorakhpur-based state-run hospital.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Lok Sabha constituency of Gorakhpur has seen at least 114 deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) this year alone. Seven children died reportedly today only, according to news agency ANI.

Kafeel Khan, a hospital doctor, also said the cause of death was not lack of oxygen. He was addressing a press conference on Sunday, 13 August along with federal Health Minister JP Nadda outside the hospital after inspecting the victims' families.

Spending on public health in India, relative to the country's GDP, is among the lowest in the world.

The chief minister said he had asked the officials during his August 9 meeting about the issues such as encephalitis, dengue, kala-azar, swine flu and chikunguniya besides what all they required.

Coming just a day after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the hospital located on his home turf.

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Maurya further maintained that the Uttar Pradesh Government always has medical and health facilities on its priority list, adding that proper investigation has been initiated in the mishap.

Chief Minister Adityanath had warned officials of strict action if any irregularity was detected in the treatment of the patients. UP government has however so far not attributed the deaths to lack of oxygen supply.

Clarifying the series of events Tandon said, "On 1 August, the dealer (oxygen supplier) had written a letter to the principal of the medical college demanding the payment of an outstanding amount. For two hours, there was shortage of emergency cylinders, during which manual resuscitation procedure was carried out", he said. "We have made a decision to sack BRD Medical College principal for the negligence", announced UP's Medical Education Minister Ashok Tandon.

Opposition leaders blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the state, accusing it of neglect and indifference. Of these, 129 children had died, said Satish Chandra, a hospital spokesman.

11 children died on Saturday and until Friday the death toll stood at 60.

"This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of state government".