Amidst mounting infant death toll at JK Lon Hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, which has created ripples across the political spectrum, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has dispatched a multi-disciplinary expert team to take stock of the situation.
“The high level team being dispatched by the ministry includes experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Health Finance and Regional Director, Health Services from Jaipur, which will reach Kota on Friday,” said Harsh Vardhan during a press conference.
With two more children died in the first two days of New Year, the total number of death toll rises to 107 at Kota’s public hospital, as per the latest reports.
The tragedy has triggered a political slugfest with UP chief minister Adityanath and BSP supremo Mayawati questioning the silence of Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka over the deaths.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has also trained guns at Congress Government for their insensitivity towards the issue.
Taking to Twitter, she said, “The death of over 100 kids in the Congress-ruled Rajasthan is a matter of pain and sadness. What`s highly condemnable is that Gehlot remains insensitive and highly irresponsible towards the issue.”
Earlier Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the Government is taking all possible measures in this direction, adding that alarming statistic is in fact an improvement over what the previous BJP government had recorded at the same hospital. He claimed that the issue is being highlighted to divert the attention from the anti-CAA protests across the country.
However, the Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has summoned party in-charge in the state Avinash Pande and also sought an explanation from chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
The Kota tragedy is not the one-of case in recent years. The 2019 acute encephalitis syndrome outbreak in Bihar killed over 150 children and the August 2017 deaths of 63 children at BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur.
The tragedy brings larger issue to the fore about safety of infant in public run hospitals. Various probe panels have held lack of medical equipment, extreme weather conditions, and lackluster infrastructure among various factors responsible for the deaths in the hospital.