New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday dispatched a high-level team prompting intervention into the rising death toll of newborns in Rajasthan’s Kota district that mounted to 102 as on Thursday.

Within the last 72 hours, at least 11 infants died at the hospital. Notably, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote a letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot urging him to look into the matter.

In a series of tweets, the Union Health Minister stated that a multi-disciplinary team including paediatric experts from AIIMS Jodhpur, Health Finance & Regional Director, Health Services Jaipur has been dispatched and a lump sum of Rs 91.7 lakhs has already been advanced to JK Loan Hospital during 2019-20 under National Health Mission.

The increasing number of deaths of newborns has set off a political stir letting the BJP as well as Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati criticise the Congress-ruled government in Rajasthan. The matter has also reached Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who sought details of the incident after meeting CM Gehlot earlier today.

Mayawati criticised Sonia Gandhi and Gehlot and said that the Congress remains “insensitive and irresponsible towards it (infant deaths), which is extremely condemnable.”

Facing immense criticism, the Ashok Gehlot in a series of tweets assured that his government is sensitive to the deaths of ailing infants at the JK Lone Hospital in Kota, requesting the opposition to avert politics on the matter.

“Infant mortality in this hospital of Kota is steadily decreasing. We will try to reduce it further. The health of mothers and children is our top priority,” he said on Twitter.

According to hospital superintendent Dr Suresh Dulara, all the deaths have mainly occurred as a result of low weight at birth. The hospital authorities, however, maintained that the number of deaths in 2019 has declined significantly since 2014 when nearly 1,198 children died.

Following the December report of over 77 deaths, CM Gehlot had said that this year, the number of deaths were actually the lowest. “Every child death is unfortunate. But there have been 1,300 to 1,500 deaths in a year in the past. This year, the figure is 900. But why 900? Not one child should die. But there are many child deaths recorded every day in every hospital in the state and the country. It’s not new. Action is being taken,” the CM had stated.

Meanwhile, efforts for upgradation and maintenance of equipment at the hospital have been put in place, following directions by the Congress government in the state.