Gorakhpur, Aug 11: Ruling out laxity on part of the administration, Uttar Pradesh government dismissed the reports which cited ‘disruption of liquid oxygen supply’ as the reason behind the 30 deaths in past 48 hours at the Gorakhpur hospital.

As per the data released by Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, a total of 60 patients died at the hospital over the past five days. UP’s Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said the deceased patients were admitted to AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) ward, NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and the general ward.

Out of the 60 deceased, more than 30 patients were minors, admitted after they contracted encephalitis or neonatal virus. The two infections have caused nearly 114 deaths in Gorakhpur district over the past 12 months.

Tandon said that none of the patients lost their lives due to oxygen shortage, as reported by some quarters of the press.

State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh reiterated the point, claiming that “there is no question of oxygen shortage as the district magistrate ensured sufficient level of oxygen cylinders were stored in the hospital”. Singh, however, said a magisterial probe would be conducted in the matter. The investigation report is expected to be submitted within the next 24 hours.

Bansgaon MP Kamlesh Paswan, under whose parliamentary constituency the BRD Medical College falls, said the reports attributing oxygen shortage for the recent deaths are “misleading”.

While speaking to a news channel, the BJP lawmaker said, “It is the largest hospital in the district. People in huge numbers come there for treatment. Everyday 10-20 people, unfortunately, could not be saved. Now, you (media) are using statistics along with the rumour to mislead the people.”

Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav questioned the government over the spree of deaths in the past 48 hours at the BRD hospital. Akhilesh lashed out at the district administration for “failing to ensure smooth supply of liquid oxygen” to the hospital.”State government should provide Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of deceased,” demanded Akhilesh, the chief of Samajwadi Party.

UP Congress chief Raj Babbar, along with senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, would be visiting the BRD hospital on Saturday to take stock of the situation.

The ruling BJP has appealed the Opposition parties to not to politicise the matter, adding that the plight of patients should not be used for petty political gains. “Through the media, I appeal all political parties to refrain from using the grief-struck family of deceased patients as part of their politics,” said Paswan.