5 children die in Tirupati hospital on a single day

Five children, including three infants, died in a government hospital here on a single day due to different ailments, triggering protests by their parents who accused the authorities of negligence in treatment.

Three newborns and two children, aged about four years, died on Thursday after being admitted to the SVRR Government Hospital in the past few days, hospital officials said.

The parents and relatives of the deceased staged a brief protest on Wednesday blaming alleged negligence of the staff and inadequate facilities in the hospital for the deaths.

But the hospital authorities denied the charges, saying the children were admitted in ‘very critical’ condition.

Andhra Pradesh Mines Minister G. Aruna Kumar visited the hospital on Thursday and told reporters that there was no negligence on the part of the staff. But she admitted there was ‘lack of facilities’ in the hospital and assured to bring it to the notice of Chief Minister N. Kirankumar Reddy and sort it out.

Police said no complaint had been lodged with them in connection with the deaths.

A high-level fact-finding team has begun an inquiry into the deaths of children and would submit a detailed report to the Chief Minister, official sources said.

Hospital sources said the deceased included a two-day old girl baby, who weighed only 1.5 kg against the normal 2.5 kg, a two-day old baby boy suffering from lack of oxygen supply to the brain and a four-month old baby with complaints of epilepsy.

A four-year old boy who had swallowed an unknown object was admitted on Wednesday and died in two hours when the treatment was on, the sources said.

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