Chennai: With four children dying in a government-run hospital here within 24 hours, opposition in Tamil Nadu on Saturday hit out at the "callousness" of the state health department and demanded the state government accept responsibility.
The children aged between eight and 11 died due to mysterious fever at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children here since Friday. Its Resident Medical Officer was not available for comments despite several attempts by IANS.
In a statement issued here, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly MK Stalin condemned the Tamil Nadu government for not looking into the callous attitude of the medical department officials.
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The children's death have created a fear in the minds of the people, he said, while noting that one family lost their two children on the same day.
Stalin said he had brought to the notice of the government several times about the existence of the mysterious fever and other diseases like dengue, but no action was taken.
He said the Chennai Corporation and the Health Department should at least wake up from their slumber now.
PMK founder S Ramadoss said children dying of dengue in government hospitals is becoming a regular feature in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts.
He said the doctors at the hospital did not diagnose the fever that the children were suffering from and proper treatment were not given.
He also wondered as to why the state Health Minister and Health Secretary are camping in Apollo Hospitals, where Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been admitted since last month, instead of taking preventive action against dengue.
Meanwhile, city residents complained the main sewage lines are always full and also overflows onto the road and inside the compound of the houses posing a major health hazard.
"It is not known whether the pumping stations are working at all. Once the rain starts, the city will be under sewage," said resident N Varadarajan.