Lucknow, Aug 12: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chaired an emergency meeting with State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh and Union MoS Health Anupriya Patel to discuss the spree of deaths reported at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College. Following the meet, Adityanath denied any negligence on part of the government, but assured an impartial probe into the matter.

While addressing the press, Adityanath reiterated that none of the deaths were caused due to oxygen shortage, as reported by some quarters of the media. “The facts should be presented in the correct manner. I appeal everyone to consider things in the right perspective,” he said.

“The patients lost their lives due to medical reasons, with the primary among them being the acute encephalitis syndrome (ACE),” the UP CM added.

On being asked about the payment dispute with the Lucknow-based gas supplier Pushpa Sales, Adityanath replied, “The money was sanctioned to clear the dues. It is negligence on part of the BRD Medical College Principal, and that is the reason why we have sacked him.”

Adityanath, however, conceded the fact that oxygen was disrupted, but accused the media of reporting it in exaggerated manner. “The oxygen supply was inadequate for small period between 11:30 PM on Thursday to 1:30 AM (in the wee hours of Friday). During that period, you can check record, no death was reported,” he stated.

Further clarifying, Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, “The last death on Thursday occurred at 10 PM. The next death was recorded at 5 AM on Friday morning. In the two-hour period between 11:30 to 1:30, no death was recorded.”

The Chief Minister, however, reiterated that his government would conduct a thorough probe in the matter. “The Chief Secretary would be investigating the case. If anyone is guilty, he would not be spared. The investigation would also probe the role of gas supplier,” he added.

Describing the ACE as a four-decade-old menace, Adityanath said the major step towards tackling it is resorting to cleanliness. “This is a challenge which eastern UP is facing since 1978. And I have been personally raising awareness about it since 1998. Cleanliness is the prerequisite to fight against it. Open defecation should stop at the earliest,” Adityanath told reporters here.