The DYFI staged demonstrations in protest against the death of several patients at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) during the Durga Puja days.
The activists of the youth wing of the CPI-M demanded that the state government take responsibility of the deaths, as, according to them, many senior doctors were not present at the hospital during the Puja. Meanwhile, five more children died at the NBMCH in the past 24 hours, sources said.
“We came to know that many senior doctors were not present, and this led to the death of many patients, including children. It is very unfortunate that this has happened at the principal health institute of north Bengal. The Covid pandemic situation prevails, and under such circumstances, how could some doctors not be available for the treatment of the patients?” said Darjeeling district DYFI president Sachin Khati.
It is learnt that 89 patients died between Sasthi (11 October) and Dasami (15 October) at the NBMCH. Claiming that the daily death rate during the Puja days was normal, the NBMCH authorities have refuted the allegations that some senior doctors were not present. According to them, the doctors performed their duties as per the duty rosters.
Mr Khati said they would hit the streets and launch a “relentless movement” if the situation remained the same. On the other hand, a six-year-old child of Pradhannagar in Siliguri died of cerebral palsy and severe malnutrition, a one-day-old baby of Rajganj, Jalpaiguri, died of birth asphyxia and low birth weight, and a one-and-a-half-month-old child died due to encephalopathy and congenital heart disease, sources said.
Further, a seven-day-old child of Alipurduar died due to low birth weight and sepsis, while a newborn baby of Matigara in Siliguri, who had survived for 16 hours, died due to prematurity and low birth weight. The sources said 40 children had been admitted in the paediatric ward of the NBMCH, nine of them suffering from acute respiratory infections (ARI), in the past 24 hours.
Forty-seven children suffering from ARI are currently admitted there, it is learnt. Twenty-five children, including one child suffering from ARI, have been discharged in the past 24 hours.