Twenty-five children died over the weekend at a government hospital in Uttar Pradesh that suffered oxygen shortages, taking the overall death toll to 85, authorities said.
Authorities have since launched an inquiry into the causes of the oxygen disruption but have denied reports that it was responsible for any deaths at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
“I can confirm 12 child deaths on Saturday and 13 on Sunday,” PK Singh, the hospital’s new principal, said.
Singh was appointed after the unceremonious removal of his predecessor last week. An earlier official statement confirmed 60 child deaths in five days starting last Monday.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government has been targetted over the tragedy by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary, who said the Uttar Pradesh government should do ‘penance’ for the deaths.
RSS head of the Avadh region Prabhu Narayan in a Facebook post has expressed his displeasure over the deaths of children and said the state government cannot escape moral responsibility.
Separately, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed the Gorakhpur tragedy as ‘irreversible’ and said the lives lost can never be got back, in his address at the Independence Day function in Thiruvananthapuram.