Reacting to the death of 33 children in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital due to the alleged lack of oxygen, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has expressed his outrage over the incident, saying it was not a tragedy but a clear case of a massacre.
Satyarthi took to Twitter to launch a scathing attack on the Uttar Pradesh government asking "is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?"
30 kids died in hospital without oxygen. This is not a tragedy. It's a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?â€” Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a thorough probe into the matter and assured of strict action against those involved in the alleged shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital.
Appeal to CM @myogiadityanath Ji. Your decisive intervention can correct decades of corrupt medical system of UP to prevent such incidents.â€” Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
State Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon reiterated that strict action will be taken against the culprits.
"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.
"There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply. And 'only' seven children have died today. Today three deaths happened in Neonatal ICU, two due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and two due to Non-AES," Tandon said.
"The District Magistrate has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The report will be out in 24 hours," he added.
The shortage of oxygen allegedly led to encephalitis, which is a sudden onset inflammation of the brain, following which the children died.
As per the locals, though the hospital is supposed to provide free medical assistance, neither there is a proper medical facility available nor are the patients provided free medicines.
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.
According to data procured from the BRD hospital, in past five days - from August 7 to August 11, a total of 60 deaths have occurred in the hospital.