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The deaths which have occurred in the span of a month have drawn widespread criticism towards the health infrastructure of the state. Representative photo: iStock

Nanded hospital deaths soar to 31, draw nationwide condemnation

The first 24 deaths were reported between September 30 and October 1. Twelve of the deceased were infants. Seven more persons died between October 1 and 2

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Seven more patients have died in a government hospital at Nanded in Maharashtra, taking the total fatalities in the facility since September 30 to a whopping 31, officials said on Tuesday (October 3).

The shocking number of deaths of both young and adult patients forced the Maharashtra government to rush a minister to the hospital even as national leaders denounced the tragedy.

The District Information Office of Nanded, around 280 km from Aurangabad, has confirmed the deaths at the Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital.

The first 24 deaths were reported during 24 hours between September 30 and October 1. Twelve of the deceased were infants. Of the 12 adults, five were male and seven female.

Seven more deaths took place between October 1 and 2.

Maharashtra Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif is expeted to visit the hospital on Tuesday. The state government has set up an inquiry panel to probe the sudden deaths.

What is causing the deaths?

Among the first 24 to die, four adults had heart-related ailments, one was suffering from unknown poisoning, one had a liver issue, two were kidney patients, and one case was of complications during pregnancy.

There were also three accident cases, an official said.

Among the deceased infants, four were brought to the hospital at the last stage, the Collectorate said.

An unidentified official attributed the fatalities to a shortage of medicines at the facility.

But Shyamrao Wakode, dean of the college, rejected allegations of negligence against the hospital.

Earlier, between August 12 and 13, a total of 18 patients died at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital at Kalwa in Thane district.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “The unfortunate incident in a government hospital in Nanded is literally shocking.”

Congress, AAP demand probe

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge raised questions on the state government's health infrastructure and demanded a thorough investigation.

He said, “It is said that these patients died due to lack of medicines and treatment. We demand a thorough investigation so that the culprits of this negligence are given strict punishment by the judiciary."

Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan visited the hospital and said: “Government medical colleges are in a serious crisis. Inadequate staff and shortage of medicines are responsible for the condition of this hospital."

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the deaths "extremely painful".

"It is being said that these deaths occurred due to shortage of medicines. How can a government be so careless? These people are busy in forming and bringing down the government by buying and selling of MLAs but they do not care about the lives of the people."

(With agency inputs)

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