Three more infants died at the Malda Sadar Hospital in West Bengal on Wednesday after being referred in critical condition from other district hospitals, taking the death toll in recent spell to 31.
The state health services Director, Dr Biswaranjan Satpathi, told reporters after a visit to the hospital on Wednesday that the babies were born pre-mature, underweight and suffered from broncho-pneumonia before being admitted.
While 31 babies had died in the past week itself, Satpathi said that overall 75 babies had died in the hospital between January one and January 20 in spells. "A total 974 babies were admitted to the hospital during the 20 days," he said.
The health official admitted that the number of patients admitted was more than the hospital's infrastructure would permit.
"Apart from the district, patients from nearby districts like North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Jharkhand as well as Bihar also come to the hospital," Dr Satpathi said.
He said that the state government was trying to improve the infrastructure not only in the hospital concerned, but also in other hospitals at Chanchol and Gajol in the district.