Gorakhpur, August 13: Hours after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited the BRD Medical College, Dr Kafeel Khan, a paediatrician and the head of the encephalitis ward at the hospital, was removed as the Nodal Officer. The decision to fire him came in the backdrop of reports praised him for saving lives amid the alleged shortage of oxygen supply at the hospital on Thursday.
According to news agency ANI, Dr Bhupendra Sharma has replaced Dr Khan at BRD Medical College. However, no official reasons has been given by authorities over Khan’s removal.
There were reports that Dr Khan, who headed the encephalitis ward and is a paediatrician, managed to save many lives and the parents in the hospital. Some of the parents said that if Dr Khan had not put in his effort to borrow oxygen, the number of deaths in the past 48 hours would have been more than 36.
On the intervening night of August 11, when Dr Khan came to know that oxygen cylinders at the hospital were about to dry, he swung into action. Dr Khan borrowed three oxygen cylinders from other nursing homes and even withdrew Rs 10,000 from his personal account to purchase 17 oxygen cylinders in order to save as many infants as possible.
After the tragedy, Dr Khan is the second official removed from the hospital administration, following the suspension of Dr Rajeev Mishra, the principal of the BRD medical college. According to news agency PTI, Dr Mishra was suspended following the death of 30 infants within a span of 48 hours since August 10.
Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said, “Yes, he (Dr Mishra) has resigned. But we had already suspended him and initiated an enquiry into his misdoings.”
Dr Khan’s heroic efforts were hailed on Saturday, a thread on twitter said that Dr Khan reportedly a Samajwadi Party supporter, had cheated his way into medical college. The thread written from a handle @WrongDoc, also alleged that Dr Khan got the oxygen cylinders from the place that belonged to him and he was also running an illegal practice.
On Sunday afternoon, Union Health Minister JP Nadda and CM Yogi Adityanath visited the hospital, to enquire about the tragedy where more than 70 children in Baba Raghav Das Medical College’s hospital died due to alleged oxygen shortage.
Another child succumbed to encephalitis on Sunday, taking the death toll over 70. 11 children died on Saturday.