A Rajasthan government committee on Tuesday cleared the state-run JK Lon Hospital of any lapses over the deaths of 10 infants in 48 hours, PTI reported. At least 100 children have died in the hospital in December, according to officials.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, however, had found serious lapses at the hospital during the inspection.
The hospital administration had last week appointed a three-member committee, headed by Paediatrics Department’s chief Amrit Lal Bairwa, to investigate the deaths.
“The committee submitted that eight out of the 10 infants were referred from other hospitals in a critical condition and two were born at the hospital itself,” Rajasthan Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya told PTI. “Due treatment was given to all of them. The committee had checked medical records. Whoever was to be put on ventilator, the required treatment was provided.”
He added the 10 infants who died were at higher risk due to premature birth.
Galriya said the committee was instructed not only to look into the cause of deaths but also the functioning of the hospital.“The committee said the hospital is working at 150% of its capacity,” he said. “The number of beds is less than the flow of patients. Similar is the situation at the ICUs as well. There is a need to increase the number of beds.”
Instructions have also been issued to take samples to check infections at the hospital on a monthly basis instead of once in three months, he added.
The medical education secretary said the hospital superintendent was removed from the post as a lot of equipment was unused due to the lack of an annual maintenance contract. “We are working on both the aspects, and would be working on improvement of the systemic part so that better treatment can be given at the hospital,” Galriya said.
Congress alleges PMO directed BJP to politicise deaths
On Tuesday, a three-member delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party visited the hospital and expressed concern about the hospital infrastructure. BJP MPs Locket Chatterjee, Kanta Kardam and Jaskaur Meena were part of the team.
The ruling Congress accused the saffron party of politicising the deaths.
Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office was behind the politics, ANI reported. “BJP’s politics over death of children in Kota is directed by the PMO, as they don’t have anything else to cover up over the anti-CAA protests,” he said. “In 2015, 2016 and 2017, when the BJP was in power, hospital authority had sought funds. Why wasn’t money released then,” he asked.
Lok Sabha Speaker and Kota MP Om Birla had on Sunday urged the Rajasthan government to act with sensitivity, and directed officials to make adequate arrangement to ensure such incidents do not occur in future.