Facing allegations of criminal negligence from the Opposition over the deaths of at least 60 children at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday reiterated that a probe has been initiated and assured of strict action against those responsible. “Let reports of probe committee come. Assure you, if anyone’s negligence caused death of a person, in any part of UP, he won’t be spared,” he said.
Adityanath was addressing a press conference along with Union Minister JP Nadda at the BRD Hospital, after inspecting the wards and meeting the doctors.
“Nobody can be more sensitive towards those children than me,” he told reporters. State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh, who has been facing heat from the Opposition, was also present.
Speaking about his earlier visit on July 9, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said: “When I questioned the hospital authorities if they needed any assistance, they said they didn’t. I asked authorities to tell me about the arrangements made to combat encephalitis and to state their problems because I was worried about other diseases like dengue and chikungunya as well.”
He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that Centre would provide every assistance possible in the matter. “A team of doctors from Delhi have visited the hospital to inspect the arrangements and take stock of the situation,” he told reporters at a press briefing. He also spoke about the dearth of virology centres in eastern Uttar Pradesh. “We need a virology centre for vector borne diseases. Have requested JP Nadda ji for it,” he said.
The Chief Minister announced that a committee headed by state Chief Secretary would investigate in the matter and the perpetrators would be booked accordingly. “We have constituted a committee to investigate into NICU and encephalitis deaths and also probe the alleged disruption of oxygen supply. I can assure you, not just Gorakhpur, if there has been negligence anywhere in Uttar Pradesh causing harm to public life, strict action will be taken against them.” Earlier on Saturday, Adityanath had said that no deaths of children happened due to shortage of oxygen.