Ballia: Fifty-seven people admitted at Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district hospital have died in four days, following which a committee of the health department from Lucknow has reached here to ascertain the cause of deaths, officials said on Sunday.
The deaths come amid the heatwave conditions in the region. However, Ballia Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Jayant Kumar said only two people have died due to heat stroke in the district till Sunday.
The two-member committee comprising Director (Communicable Diseases) Dr A K Singh and Director (Medical Care) K N Tiwari, which on Sunday inspected the wards at the Ballia district hospital, also ruled out severe heat as the main reason behind the rise in the deaths of elderly patients in the district.
Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the district hospital, Dr Divakar Singh, was removed and sent to Azamgarh, allegedly after he made a careless remark about the cause of deaths. He had on Friday said that over 20 patients at the hospital died due to heat.
Dr S K Yadav has been given the charge of CMS, a senior official said.
“As per records of the district hospital, of the 54 deaths, 40 per cent of the patients had fever, while 60 per cent were suffering from other diseases. So far, only two persons have died due to heat stroke in the district,” CMO Kumar told PTI.
CMS Yadav said the hospital is under pressure as around 125 to 135 patients are being admitted here daily.
“On June 15, as many as 154 patients were admitted to the district hospital, of which 23 patients died due to various reasons. While 20 patients died on June 16, 11 passed away on the following day. They were all aged above 60 years,” he added.
The CMO said that three more patients died at the district hospital on Sunday.
According to the health officials, on average about eight deaths are reported daily at the district hospital.
Later, speaking to the media after the inspection, Dr A K Singh said, “The number of deaths are alarming but in most cases the deaths occurred within few hours after getting admitted to the hospital.” “In most cases, deaths occurred between two and six hours of admission. Our medical staff couldn’t get enough time to stabilise the patients or to get the necessary medical tests done,” Singh said, adding that it would be too early to comment on the exact cause behind these deaths.
Most of the patients who died are from Bansdih and Gadwar
He said that most of the patients who died were from Bansdih and Gadwar blocks of the district.
The committee has also asked the authorities to test the drinking water in the area.
“Most of these patients complained of chest pain, irregular breathing and fever. All aspects of these symptoms will be looked into and corroborated with necessary medical examination of body fluids,” the director (communicable diseases) said.
When asked if the deaths were caused due to the recent heatwave, Singh said, “Had it been true, similar deaths would have also been reported from other districts which have recorded similar or higher day temperatures in the past few days. High temperature can lead to fever.” He admitted that coolers and other arrangements to counter heat in the hospital wards are insufficient.
Meanwhile, UP’s Transport Minister Daya Shankar Singh, who is the MLA from Ballia Nagar, on Sunday said the death rate of elderly people increases during the summer.