The chief medical superintendent of the district hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia was removed on Saturday after he linked the death of at least 54 persons to heatwave, PTI reported.

District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said that there was no solid evidence to show that extreme heat was the cause of the deaths, The Indian Express reported on Monday.

“The chief medical superintendent of the district hospital gave an unverified statement and was removed from his post,” the magistrate said. “All kinds of medicines like ORS [oral rehydration solution] and other facilities have been made available at all the hospitals in the district so that people don’t face any issues.”

Ballia Chief Medical Officer Jayant Kumar claimed on Sunday that only two of the 54 deaths were due to heatwave. “40% of the patients had fever, while 60% were suffering from other diseases,” he told reporters, reported PTI.

The Adityanath government has sent two director-rank officers from Lucknow to investigate the matter and submit a report.

The decision was taken after Diwakar Singh was removed as chief medical superintendent of Ballia District Hospital for “giving a careless statement on deaths caused by heatwave without having proper information”, The Indian Express reported.

SK Yadav, who replaced Singh as the hospital chief, said that most of the patients admitted were above 60 years of age and were suffering from all ailments like fever, blood pressure and breathing problems.

“The temperature is touching 42 to 45 degree Celsius and people are suffering from heatstroke... We are all in alert mode,” he said.

Additional Health Director (Azamgarh Circle) OP Tiwari conceded that the number of deaths had indeed increased, adding that it could be due to a disease that the doctors have not been able to identify.

“When the weather is extreme, like in heat and cold, deaths among patients with blood pressure and diabetes increase,” Tiwari said, according to The Indian Express. “The temperature has increased. Maybe it is the effect of that. That these diseases may have aggravated.”