Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday walked away from reporters when he was asked about reports of infant deaths in a government hospital in Rajkot. News reports claimed that as many as 1,235 infants died in the Rajkot civil hospital last year – the highest, 134, in December alone. Rupani is the legislator from Rajkot West.
The reports came days after the deaths of over 100 children in a hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, in December.
The data from Rajkot varied on different news sources. According to The Hindu, 134 infants died in the Rajkot civil hospital in December and 85 in the civil hospital in Ahmedabad. Since October, 253 infants have died in the Ahmedabad hospital, and 375 in Rajkot.
However, according to ANI news agency, 111 infants died in the Rajkot hospital in December, higher than 87 in October and 71 in November. Manish Mehta, the hospital’s dean, attributed the deaths to the shortage of facilities at the hospital to treat children. “We do not have ample facilities to treat the number of patients we receive,” Mehta told ANI. “Keeping this in mind, the government has started the construction of a new hospital with 500 beds.”
GS Rathod, the superintendent of Ahmedabad civil hospital, told ANI that 455 newborns were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, of which 85 died.
State government officials told The Hindu that the number of deliveries go up in November and December.