Jaipur: Eleven people with special needs, including eight children, staying at a government-run home near here have died due to suspected bacterial infection after allegedly drinking contaminated water.
With the opposition hitting out at the Rajasthan government over the deaths, the Vasundhara Raje dispensation appointed a three-member committee to probe the matter.
Twenty-seven residents of the government facility in Jamdoli had been admitted to SMS Hospital and J K Lone hospital. Eleven of them died between 16 April and 27. Eight persons were discharged while the others are still undergoing treatment.
Though post-mortem report is still awaited, doctors are of the opinion that the people died due to suspected bacterial infection, Rajasthan Social Justice and Empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi told reporters on Friday.
He said the three-member committee headed by Principal Secretary Sudarshan Sethi would submit its report in 15 days.
The minister said that after receiving complaints over hygiene in the facility, a team from SMS Hospital had visited it on 23 April.
"After receiving complaint, a team from SMS hospital visited the hostel on 23 April and gave necessary directions to the staff. The hostel staff has been directed to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Hand sanitizers have been placed outside every room in the hostel which has 20 rooms, 10 for boys and as many for girls," Chaturvedi said.
The minister also ruled out possibility of food contamination initially and said the matter was being probed.
"Reasons of the deaths would be clear in post-mortem report," he said.
Superintendent of J K Lone Hospital, Dr Ashok Gupta said the children who were admitted to that hospital were suffering from septic shock – complication of infection where toxins can initiate a full body inflammatory response – and high blood pressure.
"The children were admitted to the hospital between 21 April and 28. Seven of them have died, while four are undergoing treatment. Of them, three are critical," Gupta said.
All of them were admitted after they complained of vomiting and other problems, he said.
Opposition Congress leader Sachin Pilot said the children were taken ill apparently after drinking contaminated water at the government home, and demanded action against those responsible for the tragedy.
"It is very serious issue that the children who had special needs have died. The government should order a high-level inquiry into the matter," Pilot, who also visited the hospital, said.