Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday ordered a probe into the death 77 children, including 10 on Monday and Tuesday, at Kota's JK Lon Hospital in December alone, and said a team has been sent to the city to look into the matter. He said strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
Gehlot has asked medical education secretary Vaibhav Galeria to visit Kota and submit a detailed report on an urgent basis.
"The chief minister has taken this issue very seriously and hence, I am here to find out the reason for neonatal deaths. A special committee will investigate if there were hygienic or clinical issues behind the death of these kids. Besides, all other issues will also be taken up," news agency IANS quoted Galeria as saying after his visit to Kota.
On being asked if there was a staff crisis hitting the hospital, he said: "A crisis has in fact been there, but I cannot comment upfront without complete investigation. We are trying to figure out the lacunae present here and also trying to find solutions."
IANS quoted sources as saying that of 535 life-saving equipment, 320 were non-functional. Besides, only 27 out of 71 infant warmers were working. Some ventilators were also not working properly.
Expressing his concern over the deaths, Kota MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said: âThe untimely death of 10 newborns in 48 hours at a maternal and child hospital in Kota, is a matter of concern. Rajasthan government should take immediate action in this matter with empathy."
Hospital sources said all the children were brought in a critical condition to the hospital.
"Our investigation says that 10 deaths were normal and children did not die because of any negligence", said Dr H.L. Meena, hospital superintendent.