Doctor receives affected child from mother PHOTO: BBC
Indian police are investigating the deaths of dozens of newborns at a hospital in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Forty-nine children died at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in a month, including at least 30 who are said to have died from “perinatal asphyxia”.
Reduced oxygen levels cause the condition during childbirth.
In August at least 160 minors died at a Gorakhpur hospital, in the same state. Some of the deaths there were also allegedly caused by lack of oxygen.
But senior government officials have denied that this was the case in either hospital.
In the most recent investigation, a government report blamed medical staff for 30 deaths, prompting the launch of a police investigation.
The Press Trust of India reports that those 30 died from an apparent lack of oxygen while in intensive care at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. Another 19 infants, who did not survive childbirth, were not part of the government report, the news agency said.
All 49 deaths happened between 21 July and 20 August.
Initial reports suggested that a private supplier had cut the hospital’s oxygen supply over unpaid bills of more than 6m rupees ($93,500; £72,500).
Officials said there was no oxygen shortage, but blamed a high rate of disease from the monsoon season – saying that many child patients arrive in critical condition.