Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaenswar, Aug 30:
The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today tore into the state government and announced a statewide agitation on September 2 to protest the unabated infant deaths in Cuttack Sishu Bhawan over the 10 days.
Senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra today came down heavily on the state government for failing to provide health facilities to patients in distress at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Pediatrics (SVPPGIP), also known as Sishu Bhawan, where at least 48 infants have died in the last nine days.
“In such an emergency situation, no steps have been taken by the state government. During discussion with the district collectors, the top official had said that a control room was set up on that day. The government didn’t have time to even open a control room. The monsoon session of the Assembly got over. Even after 15 days of the incident, the government is yet to rise from its slumber. In the interest of the people of Odisha, BJP would organise protest rallies and demonstrations in front of 314 block offices across the state from September 2,” Bijay Mohapatra told media persons here during a press conference here today.
Despite the increasing number of infant deaths, the state government has turned a mute spectator to this grave crisis. Besides, it is not filling up doctors’ posts lying vacant in the hospital, Mohapatra alleged.
While the party members would gherao the CDMO and ADMO offices in the urban areas, demonstrations would be held in front of block offices in other parts of the state, he clarified.
While the saffron party leaders lambasted the government, the ruling party members were of the view that politics should not be done over the infant deaths issue.
“The patients are coming from across and outside the state to the referral hospital in a very critical condition. The members of All India Paediatrics Association had visited the Sishu Bhawan hospital recently. Their findings in the report would be very crucial. We don’t feel that the infant deaths have been caused by negligence. The Health Minister is personally monitoring the situation. The issue of infant deaths should not be politicised. It should be considered from a humanitarian point of view,” BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy said.
Notably, a seven-member Central team of Union Health Ministry, led by its additional secretary, Arun Panda, is on a visit to the paediatric facility to take stock of the situation there.