Minister orders inquiry, says guilty won’t be spared
The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday ordered a high-level inquiry into the deaths of six infants within 15 hours at the government hospital in Shahdol district.
Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development Kamleshwar Patel, who visited the hospital, said: “Those found responsible in the inquiry won’t be spared. Strict action would be taken against them.”
The infants, up to two-and-a-half-months old, died between 1 p.m. on Monday and 4 a.m. on Tuesday, said Dr. Rajesh Pandey, Chief Medical Health Officer. “The cause of the deaths will be ascertained after the inquiry,” he said.
Two infants were admitted to the sick newborn care unit on January 7 and December 30 after being delivered in remote rural areas, 40 and 50 km away. “They were brought in critical condition and put on ventilator,” he said.
The other four, suffering from pneumonia complications, were also in the terminal stage. While two were admitted to the paediatric ward, the other two were admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit, he said. “Three were kept on ventilator, while one was brought in almost dead. Experts tried to revive him, but after 40 minutes he was declared dead,” he said.
Dr. Pandey said the Collector had set up a team to inquire into the deaths and assess possible spread of viral diseases in the areas the infants came from.
The government hasn’t declared compensation for the families of the infants yet.
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