Days after the Kota row on infant deaths, Government Hospital in Rajkot has recorded as many as 269 infant deaths in the last three months of 2019. According to the hospital head Manish Mehta, 87 and 71 children died at Rajkot Civil Hospital in October and November respectively and 111 in December, the highest number of deaths being recorded in December.
"We do not have ample facilities to treat the number of patients we receive. Keeping this in mind, the government has started the construction of a new hospital with 500 beds," said Mehta.
The children who died in a civil hospital in Rajkot are also said to be newborns like the ones in Kota. Reports claim that the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) does not have the capacity and the required facilities to treat children weighing less than 2.5 kg. Also, the cause of death of children is being said to be malnutrition, diseases from birth, premature birth, and mother's malnourishment.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has denied answering reporters' questions on the deaths of infants in the government hospital and simply walked away.
Over 90 infants died in the month of December in Kota government hospital due to poor facilities. After these details emerged, they were followed by insensitive statement of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who had said, "the state has recorded the least deaths in 2019 and that there is 'nothing new' about someone dying in every hospital of the state or even in the country."
Gehlot came under severe criticism for his insensitive remark on the deaths of infants in Kota hospital in December. According to official records, in 2019, Rajkot recorded 1235 deaths of infants, while, Jamnagar recorded 639 deaths.
(With ANI inputs)