In a shocking reminder of Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, 16 infants have died in a hospital in BJP-ruled Assam within a span of nine days in November forcing government to launch a probe. All 16 children died in Jorhat Medical College and Hospital in Assam.
Officials have termed the situation ‘alarming’ but not ‘critical.’ A report by News18 said that out of eight ventilators in the unit, only three were functional. One of the pediatricians of the hospital confessed that the unit had admitted 84 infants against the capacity of 41.
According to news agency PTI quoted the superintendent of JMCH, Saurav Borkakoti, as saying that newborns had died at the hospital’s special care newborn unit between 1 and 6 November.
Borkakoti said, “Sometimes the number of patients coming to the hospital may be large and so the figure of death of newborns may also be large. It depends in what situation the patients have come to the hospital. They may have come with prolonged labour, with low birth weight. In such circumstances, those newborns may die.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that a team had been sent to Jorhat adding that the fact-finding team also included a member of UNICEF. They are expected to submit their their report soon.
The latest episode comes just a year after more than 400 children died due to non-supply of oxygen at a government hospital in Gorakhpur, a town represented by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Adityanath has since faced a lot of criticism for prioritising vicious Hindutva agenda over improving basic infrastructure in the state.