While 30 deaths were reported on Friday, three more were reported on Saturday. The tragedy has also set off a war of words between the BJP and the Congress.
Stay tuned for live updates:
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj on Saturday said 30 children died in a Gorakhpur hospital because oxygen supply was cut off over non-payment of dues.
He demanded stringent action against those responsible for the tragedy in Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital,
where 30 children are believed to have died in 48 hours. "The deaths which took place in a Gorakhpur hospital were very saddening. The person, who switched off the oxygen supply on the pretext of non-payment of dues, was responsible for the incident," the MP from Unnao told reporters.
UP Minister Siddarth Nath Singh, who is part of the same press conference, once again reiterated that none of the deaths had occurred due to the lack of oxygen and he had a proof of that. The minister added that not all patients were from Gorakhpur and several from Nepal and Bihar also come to the city for treatment.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday evening broke his silence over the death of at least 33 children due to the lack of oxygen at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur. He expressed condolences for the families of kids who lost their lives. "We will be getting a detailed report on the deaths. All the deaths were not related to the shortage of oxygen supply," the Chief Minister said.
CNN-News18 spoke to a couple which lost their kid this afternoon. However, according to the father of the kid, the family was not permitted to leave immediately because Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddartha Nath Singh was to visit the hospital and hold a press conference.
"When the kid trembled again, I asked the doctor if he was fine. The doctor first said that the kid was suffering from Pneumonia and admitted him," the father said.
When asked if the hospital really had a problem on the nights of August 10 and 11 when the maximum number of deaths occurred, the father responded in affirmation. "Yes, there was a shortage of oxygen and people were in distress," he said adding that his kid died because of the negligence of the doctors at the BRD hospital.
BSP supremo Maywati alleged that welfare of the people was of no importance "to the governments of the BJP". "Issues like tiranga (tricolour), vande mataram, madarsa, anti-romeo squads -- which divert the attention of the people -- are of more importance to them."
Mayawati added that as the incident took place at a time when the chief minister was on a visit to Gorakhpur and “taking time off his political activities and puja-paath, was doing government work", it raised "a hundred questions on the capacity and working of the BJP government".
A six-member SP team, led by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ram Govind Chaudhary, has been asked to submit its report to the party chief by August 13 and a three-member BSP team, led by its state unit chief Ram Achal Rajbhar, has been asked to rush to Gorakhpur.
Stating that the exact toll was not available with the opposition, Akhilesh said, “We have received information that as the children were dying, their families were being taken out of the hospital in a hush hush manner.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur and is in touch with central and state authorities, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and the Union health secretary will take stock of the situation in Gorakhpur, the PMO said.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said that encephalitis has been there since 1978. And since 1978, if innocent kids are falling prey to it every year, somewhere lack of cleanliness and open defecation are responsible for this. There is a lack of awareness among people about the importance of hygiene.
"What will be the future of a country whose children are dying of these diseases? It's a challenge. It's distressing, but we have to find a solution to this distress," said Aditynath.
"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wasn't informed despite his visit to the hospital on August 9th... The hospital should have informed us about the ongoing oxygen crisis...Discussions happened in details; but issue of gas supply that should've come to light didn't come up. Nobody spoke about it," says UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Gorakhpur.
UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh addresses the media on Gorakhpur Horror. "We had a three-hour long meeting... We have taken all the necessary steps to probe the matter... This government is sensative to people's problem... This is a very serious and sensitive matter... No body felt the need to inform chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the shortage in the supply of Oxygen when he visited the hospital on August 9th."
CLICK TO READ | Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: Those Found Guilty to Face Strict Action, Says Deputy CM Maurya
Gorakhpur district magistrate Rajeev Rautela had on Friday said least 30 children had died in the Medical College within 48 hours.
Click to read | Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy: Congress Says UP CM, Health Minister Should Resign
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari also demanded strict action against those responsible for the deaths, allegedly due to the shortage of supply of liquid oxygen, at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
JP Nadda asks Anupriya Patel, Health Secy to visit Gorakhpur
Union health minister JP Nadda has asked minister of state for health Anupriya Patel and Health Secretary C K Mishra to visit Gorakhpur to look into the deaths of children in a hospital in the eastern UP town. Nadda has sought a report from the state health department into the matter. An expert team will also be leaving for Gorakhpur today. At least 30 children have died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College here since the past two days, District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela said.
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minsiter Akhilesh Yadav is addressing the media on the Gorakhpur horror:
"Delegations from Samajwadi Party will pay a visit to the Gorakhpur hospital... This is a sad incident... UP CM should intervene into the matter and do the needful...Governmnet is trying to run away from its responsibilities that's why they are saying that opposition is politicising the situation... Government is not doing their job. They are busy hounding Samajwadi Party workers," he said.
The tragedy comes barely two days after Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Gorakhpur. Ever since taking over the reins of Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath has been stressing on improving the condition of medical and education sectors. In April, the Adityanath government had announced that it has started work on setting up six AIIMS and 25 new medical colleges in the state, one of the promises the BJP made in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
20 Aug, 2017 | India in Sri Lanka SL vs IND 216/1043.2 overs 220/128.5 oversIndia beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets
17 - 20 Aug, 2017 | The Wisden Trophy ENG vs WI 514/8135.5 overs 168/1047.0 oversEngland beat West Indies by an innings and 209 runs
12 - 14 Aug, 2017 | India in Sri Lanka IND vs SL 487/10122.3 overs 135/1037.4 oversIndia beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 171 runs
04 - 07 Aug, 2017 | Basil D'Oliveira Trophy ENG vs SA 362/10108.4 overs 226/1072.1 oversEngland beat South Africa by 177 runs
03 - 06 Aug, 2017 | India in Sri Lanka IND vs SL 622/9158.0 overs 183/1049.4 oversIndia beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 53 runs