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Political slugfest takes centre stage over infants death in Kota

Aggrieved families said that the main reason for the deaths were the dismal facilities and lack of hygiene at the hospital

Political slugfest takes centre stage over infants death in Kota

Kota/New Delhi: The recent deaths of more than 100 infants at a government hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, from the month of December 2019, has put the state government on the receiving end of criticism which are coming thick and fast. The BJP, accusing the government of negligence, has intensified its call of removing Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

Addressing a rally in Jodhpur, Home Minister Amit Shah said: "Gehlot ji, instead of opposing this (Citizenship Amendment Act) first focus on the children who are dying in Kota every day, show some concern, mothers are cursing you."

The flak on Gehlot gathered steam after a carpet to welcome Rajasthan's health minister Raghu Sharma, at the hospital on Friday was rolled out. A political slugfest has now eventuated with Home Minister Amit Shah slamming Gehlot said that the chief minister should pay more attention to the causes of these deaths and attend the grieving parents rather than spending time protesting against the amended citizenship law.

Meanwhile, the aggrieved families said that the main reason for the deaths were due to the dismal facilities and lack of hygiene at the hospital, where outside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) an open trash barrel containing remains of food and used surgical masks were found and oxygen cylinders lay scattered all over the place. The families of the patients also complained that their concerns were not heard by the hospital authorities.

They further complained that at another ward fresh paintings were being carried out and it began after the news of deaths had spread across the nation. Moreover, parents of children admitted at the hospital alleged that they had been asked to check on the functioning of oxygen pipes.

Ironically, only last week, Secretary, Medical Education, Vaibhav Galriya after visiting the hospital had ruled out any negligence as reason of the deaths. Giving its initial report on the deaths of the infants on December 27, 2019, the paediatrics department had said that most of the equipment was functional and none of the patients died due to lack of resources. The reason of the deaths they said was the critical condition the children were brought to the hospital after being referred from other hospitals.

The political firestorm surrounding the deaths led to the BSP supremo Mayawati demanding that Gehlot be sacked while UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has criticised Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for not visiting the mothers of the infants who died.

A BJP parliamentary team, comprising of MPs Locket Chatterjee, Kanta Kardam and Jaskaur Meena, had visited the hospital last month and expressed concern over its infrastructure. The panel said two to three children were found on single beds and the hospital did not have enough nurses.

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