At least 30 infants have died within 48 hours at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College and Hospital reported ANI. As per reports 15 of the 30 children died in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the other 15 breathed their last in paediatrics intensive care unit (PICU) in the last 48 hours. “30 children died within 48 hours at Gorakhpur’s BRD Hospital,” confirmed Dr. DK Srivastava, the head of the department, Community medicine. “15 children were younger than one month. 6 of the rest 15 older than a month passed away due to encephalitis,” he added.

Encephalitis has been a major concern over the years in Gorakhpur which sees the regular death of infants due to the issue. Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain caused by some viral infection or tissue damage. Earlier in August this year, 63 children including infants died within a span of 1 week due to short supply of oxygen. According to the hospital officials, 25 patients were admitted to NICU while 66 children were admitted to PICU. As per a TOI report, from Thursday midnight till Friday midnight, 8 of the 10 children admitted to the NICU died while 10 out of 36 admitted to the PICU breathed their last.

A total of 599 causalities were reported at the BRD Hospital last year. Earlier in August Dr Kafeel Khan in-charge of AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) Ward, director of oxygen supplying firm and 7 others including BRD Medical College Principal Rajeev Mishra and his wife Poornima Mishra were arrested in connection with the deaths of 63 children in 7 days.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ordered strict action after the incident and had removed Additional Chief Secretary (Medical Health) Anita Bhatnagar Jain following the causalities. The doctors, however, alleged that the deaths didn’t occur due to the barrage of oxygen supply but because the patients were brought late and in critical conditions.