Infant deaths: Odisha govt orders fresh probe

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday ordered for a fresh probe into the deaths of nine infants in the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla.
 
"A new team from Bhubaneswar will inquire the deaths of nine newborn babies. I have asked the team to visit the families and find out the details like the date of their delivery, under which circumstances they were referred to the VSS Hospital, etc," said Damodar Rout, Health Minister.
 
Notably, the state government had earlier formed a three-member probe team which opined that eight of the nine newborns who had died in 24 hours between Friday and Saturday were critical cases referred to the hospital from distant places.
 
Opposition Congress and BJP on Sunday hit the streets over the issue as the Health Minister ruled out negligence of doctors and described it as a "unfortunate coincidence".
 
While BJP leaders staged a demonstration in front of Rout’s residence in Bhubaneswar and a dharna at Sambalpur, the Congress organised a bandh at Burla demanding a judicial probe into the incident and burnt the effigies of chief minister and health minister.