Twelve infants die in a day at Indian hospital
STORY: Twelve infants died in one day at a hospital in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Sunday (October 1), sparking a political storm in the days that followed.
The fatalities were among 24 deaths at the Shankarrao Chavan Government Hospital in the Nanded district, according to hospital officials and local media.
Opposition politicians accused the regional government and hospital authorities of gross negligence on Tuesday (October 3).
Ramesh Chokovasadavarti's child died at the hospital.
“We were told that our child had gangrene and surgery was required to remove the infection. They asked for our consent and we got scared and signed on the consent form and later, his dead body came out."
Another man whose nephew died said the neo-natal unit of the hospital was very crowded on Sunday.
He said there were four to five babies in one incubator, which was otherwise designed to hold just one infant.
The dean of the hospital did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on this allegation or opposition accusations of negligence.
But speaking to ANI news agency earlier on Tuesday, he said the adult patients died of various ailments including diabetes, liver failure and kidney failure.
The Maharashtra government, run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party and an ally, has launched an inquiry into the deaths.
Here's the state's chief minister, Eknath Shinde.
"The tragedy of Nanded government hospital has been taken with utmost sincerity by the government and in the morning I had called both the secretaries and obtained preliminary information from them. There was no shortage of medicine in the hospital and doctor and staff were present there."
At the Shankarrao Chavan hospital on Tuesday, patients crowded the corridors and pigs roamed the premises outside.
The chaos outlines wider disarray at most government-run hospitals in the world's most populous country.
India's public healthcare system is woefully ill-equipped - plagued by a lack of staff and equipment.
Sunday's deaths were the second such episode in Maharashtra in as many months.
In August, local media reported that 18 people admitted to a state-run hospital in the Thane region died over a 24-hour period.
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