In the aftermath of the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy that claimed over 70 lives, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Saturday announced that the Centre has approved setting up of a regional medical centre in the region for research into children’s ailments. The minister, who paid a visit to the BRD Medical college along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, added that the research centre will be constructed at a cost of Rs 85 crore.
“Before coming here, I have approved the establishment of a regional medical research centre in Gorakhpur, at a cost of Rs 85 crore. This institute will conduct research into the infections of children and their possible reasons,” Nadda said.
Over 70 children have died since August 7 at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College at Gorakhpur, which falls under Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Lok Sabha constituency. The deaths are being blamed on infections and possible disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward, but the hospital and district administration have dismissed the inadequate oxygen supply as the reason for the tragedy.
Japanese encephalitis is also being blamed as one of the reasons for the tragic incident. Gorkhapur is the worst-affected region in Uttar Pradesh by encephalitis. Although vaccines are available, there is no such vaccine for checking Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and better hygiene is the only way to fend it off.
On Saturday, the chief minister also stated that a variety of ailments, not a cut in the supply of oxygen, had led to the deaths. In the wake of the incident, the government, however, suspended Rajeev Mishra, principal of the college, with immediate effect for negligence in delaying the release of payment to the supplier of oxygen to the hospital and ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragedy.
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has come under heavy scrutiny, with the Opposition demanding the resignation of state health minister Siddharth Nath Singh as well as of the chief minister.
With PTI inputs