Gorakhpur: Six new cases of encephalitis deaths were reported from the paediatric ward of BRD Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur since Saturday, amid fresh blame game after over 60 children died in the state-run hospital over the past one week.
Even as the authorities grappled with the situation in the aftermath of the tragedy, additional director health Dr Pushkar Anand on Monday said these fresh deaths occurred between 12 -14 August.
"In the past three days — from August 12 to August 14 — six encephalitis patients, mostly children have died. In the same period, as many as 21 patients were admitted for treatment. At present nearly 75 encephalitis patients are undergoing treatment in the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital," he said.
In state capital Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders including UPCC chief Raj Babbar on Monday staged protest over the death of children in Gorakhpur. The Congress leaders also courted arrest.
Babbar had on Sunday claimed that "70 children were murdered" since 10 August and held the state government responsible for it. "This government is a killer and I want to ask how many more children will be killed?" he had told a press conference in Lucknow.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday visited Gorakhpur and met family members of deceased infants and consoled them.
The former chief minister visited two villages and met three families who lost their children.
Meanwhile, the NHRC has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the deaths, observing that it indicated "gross callousness" on part of the health administration.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) asked the state's chief secretary to submit a detailed report in four weeks about steps initiated for relief and rehabilitation of the affected families as well as action taken against those found guilty.
Moved by the Gorakhpur tragedy, BJP Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi on Monday pledged Rs 5 crore from his MP local area development fund to build a state-of-the-art paediatric wing in Sultanpur district hospital. "The human tragedy in Gorakhpur has left me jolted," he said.
While grieving the terrible loss of lives of children, the incident must "act as an impetus" to take actions that serve as a deterrent, the Sultanpur MP said in a statement.
Over 60 children have reportedly died at BRD Medical College Hospital since 7 August, many of them infants who perished in the neo-natal intensive care unit.
The state government has ordered an inquiry by the chief secretary and suspended the principal of the BRD Medical College Rajiv Mishra.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said exemplary action would be taken against those found responsible for the tragedy.
Giving the data of previous years' deaths at the BRD college, health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh had said, "The paediatric deaths which took place in August are - 567 in 2014 (19 per day), 668 in 2015 (22 per day) and 587 in 2016 (19.5 per day)."
In the last three decades, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have claimed over 50,000 lives in the eastern Uttar Pradesh, mostly in Gorakhpur district.
Till 8 August, 124 deaths have been reported. 641 children died last year and 491 in 2015.
Updated Date: Aug 14, 2017 21:30 PM