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Infant deaths: West Bengal govt wakes up
September 28, 2004 16:08 IST
The West Bengal government on Tuesday said it was considering an alternative power supply arrangement at the B C Roy Memorial Children's Hospital where a long power cut crippled services yesterday had allegedly left five infants dead.
"The health secretary is discussing the issue in his department. We would also approach the power utility CESC Ltd to discuss a contingency power supply arrangement to the hospital," Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop on public health.
Mishra said though the hospital authorities had reported only two deaths yesterday with none being related to the power cut that lasted between 3:25 am and 5:25 am, the hospital register showed that four children had died by 8:00 am and another died during the day.
"I have received a preliminary report which says that two children died in the hospital. But none of the deaths were due to the power cut. They were natural deaths," Mishra said.
When asked why the state government had not responded to the hospital's long pending demand of providing an emergency power supply arrangement, he said the health secretary was looking into the matter and working out the modalities.
Hospital Superintendent Mrinal Chatterjee had maintained yesterday that all the five infants, within the age group of seven to 22 days, admitted to ward number seven were in a 'morbid condition' and their death had nothing to do with the power cut.
Chatterjee, however, said the state government had not paid any heed to their earlier demand of an alternate power supply arrangement since the hospital already had a hotline.
More reports from West Bengal