The hospital where more than 60 children died in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district appointed a new nodal officer at the Department of Pediatrics on Sunday, ANI reported. Bhupendra Sharma’s appointment at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital came after Dr Kafeel Khan was suspended from the post on Saturday.
Khan is believed to have saved more than a hundred children by collecting oxygen cylinders from a number of nursing homes after supply at the BRD College and Hospital was allegedly disrupted. However, the state government had refuted these reports and said that the children had died of encephalitis.
PK Singh, the principal of Rajkiya Medical College in Ambedkar Nagar, was given the additional charge of BRD Medical College and Hospital, after Rajeev Mishra was suspended from the post.
Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati said Mishra had been made a scapegoat in the case, reported PTI. The Uttar Pradesh government has faced criticism since the children’s deaths came to light.
“By making the college principal a scapegoat, the state government is trying to absolve itself of all responsibility,” Mayawati said.
The state government had suspended Mishra on Saturday. He had later resigned taking “moral responsibility” for the deaths of the children admitted to the hospital’s pediatric ward. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has said the matter will be thoroughly investigated.
Director General of Medical Education KK Gupta on Sunday told reporters that they had received complaints against Mishra, and that “his work was disorganised and substandard”. “This is peak season for encephalitis,” he said. “It is clear these deaths have no relation with the shortage of oxygen at the hospital.”