Gorakhpur tragedy highlights: Centre sends a team of doctors from Delhi to assess situation at BRD medical college

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Gorakhpur tragedy highlights: Centre sends a team of doctors from Delhi to assess situation at BRD medical college
  • 19:40 (IST)

  • 19:36 (IST)

    KK Gupta on the Gorakhpur developments 

    Uttar Pradesh Director General Medical Education KK Gupta spoke out on the death of 72 infants in BRD medical college in Gorakhpur in the past five days. According to ANI, he said that this is the peak season for diseases like encephalitis, adding that this makes it clear these deaths have no relation with shortage of oxygen.

    He also addressed BRD medical college principal Rajiv Mishra's suspension, saying that he has been receiving complaints about Mishra. "His work was disorganized, substandard," he said. He also dismissed the praises that the hospital's nodal officer of the paediatrics department was receiving. He said that if 52 cylinders were in stock in the hospital on Friday night, then Dr Kafeel Khan's three cylinders would make absolutely no difference. 

  • 18:23 (IST)

    Dr Kafeel Khan fired as nodal officer of pediatrics department at BRD medical college

    The Nodal Officer for the Department of Pediatrics in BRD medical college, Dr Kafeel Khan, has reportedly been ousted and Dr Bhupendra Sharma has been appointed to take his place

    Read more here

  • 16:35 (IST)

    Death toll rises to 72 

    According to the Indian Express, a four-year-old boy suffering from encephalitis died on Sunday, taking the death toll to 72 in the past week. Initially, ANI reported that 11 children died on Saturday and the death toll stood at 60 on Friday. 

  • 16:08 (IST)

    Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda said that the Centre has approved the setup of a regional medical centre in Gorakhpur. According to PTI, the centre will be built at a cost of Rs 85 crore.

  • 15:45 (IST)

    Meet Dr Kafeel Khan, whose quick thinking saved many lives

    Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of encephalitis ward at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, thought on his feet and arranged oxygen cylinders with the help of his friends and private vendors.

    Media reports state that on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, Khan, who was at his home, got to know that the hospital’s central pipeline was running out of oxygen and that emergency oxygen cylinders could provide gas only for two more hours.

    Read more here

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Yogi Adityanath reportedly faced the ire of protesters before he visited BRD medical college 

  • 15:32 (IST)

    RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav slams Yogi Adityanath's statement on Gorakhpur tragedy

    Lalu Prasad Yadav's tweet from Saturday bashes Yogi Adityanath's statement in Allahabad, which said that the death of children in his hometown was caused by filth and scourge of open defecation. "There are vector-borne diseases, such as encephalitis, you must be hearing media reports of BRD medical college these days...it is a tragedy that lives of young children have been snuffed out at such young age because we do not lead a clean and hygienic life," he had said at the gathering. Lalu retorted to this statement, asking Adityanath what he was doing in his five terms as Gorakhpur MP.

  • 15:28 (IST)

    JP Nadda on Centre's provisions to address the Gorakhpur tragedy 

    Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda said the Centre has approved Rs 85 crore for setting up a central Viral Research Centre in Gorakhpur. "The approval for a central-level Viral Research Centre has been given. The research centre will be set up in Gorakhpur to help in finding out the real problems of the vector borne diseases in the areas of eastern UP and will help in finding a permanent solution. For this purpose the Centre will release Rs 85 crore," said Nadda.

    He also said, "Prime Minister is concerned about the deaths and asking for regular updates. The Central government has taken several initiatives for Gorakhpur. For better treatment, a three-member team of specialist doctors is here." According to Hindustan Times, a three-member team of AIIMS doctors has been sent by the Centre to visit the encephalitis ward at the hospital in the district. 

    Earlier, Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Health Secretary CK Mishra visited the hospital on the directions of the Centre to look into the lapses in the BRD Medical College.

    Read more here

  • 15:14 (IST)

    Watch the complete press conference with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union health minister JP Nadda here 

  • 15:12 (IST)

    Congress accuses UP govt of 'burying truth', demands Supreme Court-monitored probe

    The Congress on Sunday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the death of at least 30 children at a state-run hospital in Gorakhpur, alleging that the Yogi Adityanath government, through "operation cover-up", was attempting to bury the truth.

    The party said according to reports that have emerged till now, the unusually high number of deaths occurred due to neglect and mismanagement, and not due to any disease as is being claimed by the BJP government in the state.

    "The chief minister, the health minister, the principal of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College are all responsible for the deaths. The UP government has blood on its hands. And now they have launched an operation cover-up," Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill told a press conference in New Delhi.

    Read more here

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Ghulam Nabi Azad on the Gorakhpur infant deaths 

    Responding to the suspension of BRD medical college Principal Rajeev Mishra, senior Congress Party leader and former health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad called the move an 'eyewash', and demanded that an all-party delegation should investigate the issue.

    "The administration was notified of the lack of oxygen. Local media reports also hinted at the possibility of a large tragedy in the hospital. It is shocking that nothing was done about it. Suspending the principal after this and announcing an enquiry into the matter is just eyewash. There should be an all-party probe into this; the matter should not be submerged at any cost," Azad said to ANI.  Azad also called for the resignation of state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh.

  • 14:58 (IST)

    Shashi Tharoor on the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy 

    Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday accused the Uttar Pradesh Government of "sheer negligence," calling for strict action against those responsible for the death of the infants.  

    Speaking to ANI in Trivandrum, he called the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy as an 'unforgivable act,' adding, "Frankly, this is a terrible situation which shocked the country. The vulnerable members of our society are suffering because of the negligence and the bills not paid by the UP Government."

    He also criticised the priorities of the ruling BJP-led government, "This (UP Government) is presenting crores on advertising and not paying the bill. This is not forgivable."

  • 14:48 (IST)

    Yogi Adityanath's jabs at the Opposition 

    Addressing the flak the state government received following the deaths of 30 children in Gorakhpur, chief minister Yogi Adityanath said, "Those whose sensitivity has died are now trying to add salt to the wound by raising the sensitive issue unnecessarily." He also said that when Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Union health minister, "he said he couldn't do anything on the issue because it is a state matter," implying that the BJP-led government wasn't the only culpable party for the encephalitis issue. 

  • 14:41 (IST)

    Uttar Pradesh govt directs medical colleges to maintain adequate oxygen supply

    The Uttar Pradesh government has asked all the medical colleges to ensure that there is no shortage of medicines or oxygen, days after at least 30 children died in a state-run institute in Gorakhpur, an official said on Sunday.

    The Uttar Pradesh government's medical education department, in a letter to the medical colleges, also directed them to immediately pay all the outstanding dues to the oxygen suppliers (if any).

    "After the Gorakhpur tragedy, we have issued a written order to all the nine government medical colleges and 12 other prominent medical institutes in the state to ensure that there is no shortage of any medicine or oxygen in the hospitals," additional chief secretary, medical education, Anita Bhatnagar Jain told PTI.

    Read more here

  • 14:37 (IST)

  • 14:34 (IST)

    Yogi Adityanath addresses the media after his visit to BRD medical college

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed the press after his visit to the BRD medical college in Gorakhpur. He addressed the visits by JP Nadda and Anupriya Patel to Gorakhpur, saying that major immunization and treatment drives are taking place. Adityanath also said that the Centre has sent a team of doctors from Delhi to tackle the encephalitis issue. 

    He added that vaccinations for over 90 lakh children in 38 districts to fight against Japanese encephalitis. The chief minister emphasized that this was his fourth visit to BRD medical college and that he had also visited the hospital on 9 August as well. 

    “I have seen children die due to encephalitis, so nobody can be more sensitive towards those children than me,” Adityanath added. He also said that Japanese encephalitis isn’t the only issue Uttar Pradesh is facing, “My worry isn’t just encephalitis, but also the rise of swine flu, dengue, chikungunya and other illnesses.” He said that the state government is making special provisions to fight these diseases. 

    The chief minister said that a committee chaired by the chief secretary is looking into the developments in the NICU, which will investigate whether the deaths were due to encephalitis or due to lack of oxygen. He also urged reporters to go to the ward and see the children, rather than “spreading rumours.”

    He said that the medical team from Delhi will be investigating these vector-borne diseases and that they will be waiting for the report from the committee to give further updates. 

  • 13:56 (IST)

    Kapil Sibal calls Yogi government 'insensitive' 

  • 13:48 (IST)

    BRD Medical College was never a safe health facility for kids

    BRD Medical College and Hospital is not unfamiliar to tragedy. Since 1978, this hospital has an average of over 200 deaths per bed, making Gorakhpur highly endemic to encephalitis. 

    Siddhartha Nath Singh claimed no one from the hospital had informed them about the issue of lack of oxygen and said: "In August 2015, 668 deaths took place in the paediatric section of the hospital. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, 17 or 18 deaths per day on an average were reported from the BRD Medical College."

    According to an RTI reply, a Department of Pediatrics report stated that from 2009 till 2011, 3,745 children had died in the hospital. Further, the report also revealed that the incubator, pulse oximeter and infant ventilators in the hospital are out of order.

    Read full aticle here

  • 13:37 (IST)

    Sheila Dikshit hits out at Yogi government 

  • 13:31 (IST)

    Encephalitis a major issue in Uttar Pradesh

    Encephalitis is a deadly vector-borne disease which claims hundreds of lives in the state every year. According to a report by the Directorate of National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP), 26,686 cases of encephalitis were reported in Uttar Pradesh between 2010 and August 2017. Of this, 24,668 cases were of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and 2,018 of Japanese Encephalitis (JE). Out of those reportedly suffering from AES, 4,093 died in the same period. On the other hand, there were 308 JE deaths registered in the state — 15 percent of the total people who suffered from JE between 2010-2017.

    Read full report here.

  • 13:25 (IST)

    Criminal negligence says Sitaram Yechury

  • 13:05 (IST)

    Yogi Adityanath and heath minister JP Nadda are meeting victims' families and doctors in BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur.

  • 12:58 (IST)

    UP Congress leader Raj Babbar attacks the state government's stance on the crisis.

  • 12:43 (IST)

  • 12:36 (IST)

    CNN News 18 reports that Yogi Adityanath will hold a press conference after his visit to the hospital.

  • 12:30 (IST)

    Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reaches Gorakhpur hospital along with JP Nadda.

  • 12:24 (IST)

    CPM leader Sitaram Yechury takes to Twitter to comment on the ongoing Gorakhpur crisis

  • 12:16 (IST)

  • 12:02 (IST)

    UP government's stance that Chief minister Yogi Adityanath was not aware of the medical crisis doesn't add up

    The sequence of events that led to the massacre of 60 children in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College since 7 August is a damning indictment of the government machinery. First, it failed to pay the contractor who supplied liquid oxygen to the hospital, running up arrears in excess of over Rs 68 lakh, even when, as the supplier argued, the terms and conditions of the supply agreement said the pending amount would not exceed Rs 10 lakh.

    Then, in spite of ultimatums from the supplier that the supply of liquid oxygen would be stopped, the hospital management did not make any arrangement to ensure its availability. The government and the hospital managementdid not act even when they were warned that the situation could become grave once the contractor pulls the plug.

    Read more here.

  • 11:49 (IST)

    Dr Kafeel Khan helped save many lives

  • 11:42 (IST)

    Does Yogi Adityanath have his priorities wrong?

    What gets one's goat is that instead of fixing this huge medical problem in eastern Uttar Pradesh, the government puts the patriotism test higher up on the priority list. In fact, even as these children were choking to death, one of Adityanath's ministers was directing all madrassas (Islamic schools) to hold celebrations on Independence Day and videograph the event. This was followed by a warning that action will be taken against those madrassas that do not follow the order.

    Minister of state for minority welfare Baldev Aulakh had company in Times Now, that debated the Independence Day story instead of Gorakhpur on its 9 pm show on Friday. When a panellist mentioned the BRD hospital deaths, he was brusquely told by the anchor not to divert and focus on the real issue.

    Read more here

  • 11:29 (IST)

    Yogi Adityanath tweets, says his thoughts are with the victims 

  • 11:15 (IST)

    Death toll in the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy crosses 70 on Sunday morning, as Encephalitis claims another life in the government hospital, according to ANI.

  • 11:08 (IST)

  • 11:07 (IST)

  • 11:05 (IST)

    The death toll has now crossed 70.

In what seems to be a damage control exercise by the Uttar Pradesh government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union health minister JP Nadda will visit Gorakhpur on Sunday to take stock of the situation at a government hospital, where 72 children have died of Encephalitis, ANI reported.

Adityanath's visit comes just a day after he rejected reports that lack of oxygen supply was responsible for deaths of over 60 children in a government hospital in Gorakhpur in the last five days.

Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday instituted a committee under the chief secretary to go into the gas supplier's role and other lapses.

Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh quoted figures of child deaths in August over a period of three years and after the BJP government came to power to claim that the deaths have occurred due to vector-borne diseases like Japanese Encephalitis highly prevalent in the region.

 Gorakhpur tragedy highlights: Centre sends a team of doctors from Delhi to assess situation at BRD medical college

File image of Yogi Adityanath. PTI

Flanked by Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and the state Health and Medical Education Ministers at a press conference, Adityanath asserted that stringent action will be taken against those found guilty.

He and Siddharth Nath Singh contended that there has been no death due to lack of oxygen supply to Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital, but did concede there was a problem in the supply of liquid oxygen for four hours on 10 August which was made up by the system switching to cylinders.

The chief minister also said that BRD College Principal Rajiv Mishra has already been suspended on grounds of negligence and administrative lapses relating to delayed payment to the gas supplier.

He said that a magisterial inquiry has already been ordered and the report will come soon, while the committee headed by the chief secretary is expected to give its report in a week.

Adityanath requested the media to be responsible and only broadcast authentic death statistics.

"We are sensitive to each death in the hospital and will request you all to be careful about the facts and figures," he said at a press conference in Lucknow.

Expressing his sympathies to the bereaved families, Adityanath said that encephalitis was a big challenge for the state government as well as an emotional issue for him as he has been waging a war against it since 1998.

He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enquired about the situation and assured all central help. The union health secretary was in Gorakhpur, he said, adding that Union Health Minister JP Nadda and his minister of state were monitoring the situation as well.

Adityanath also said that during his review meeting in Gorakhpur on 9 August, he had asked officials if there were any issues or they required any help from the government but was told that there were none.

The chief minister said that he himself had visited the BRD medical college on 9 July and 9 August to himself look at the situation but was not informed of any shortage, including of oxygen.

Meanwhile, citing figures, Siddharth Nath Singh said that 567 deaths occurred in August 2014 at a daily average of 19, 668 deaths in 2015 in the same month with a daily average of 22 and 587 deaths in August 2016 with a daily average of about 20, but the state government has taken steps to improve health services in the last three months and there had been a reduction in fatalities.

"In August this year up to the 11,133 deaths have occurred," he said.

Also denying the shortage of oxygen or disruption of the central oxygen plant had led to the deaths of children, including infants, he attributed the deaths to some being underweight, early delivery, sepsis, pneumonia and other infections. A few deaths, he added, happened due to encephalitis as well.

Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said pending payments of the vendor supplying oxygen were cleared on 5 August and funds sent to the BRD medical college, but it was "surprising" that Principal Rajeev Mishra did not release it until 11 August.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Aug 13, 2017 19:40:00 IST