Fifty-four people admitted at Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district hospital have died in the last three days, following which a team of the health department from Lucknow has reached the hospital to ascertain the cause of deaths, officials said on Sunday.
Nearly 400 patients were admitted to the district hospital from June 15 to June 17, they said, adding all the patients who died at the government hospital were aged above 60 years.
Meanwhile, 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.
Dr S K Yadav has been given the charge of CMS, a senior official said.
Ballia Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Jayant Kumar said two people have died due to heat stroke in the district till Sunday.
"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," 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.
According to the health officials, on average about eight deaths are reported daily at the district hospital. On Saturday, additional director of the health department of Azamgarh division, O P Tiwari, said a team of the health department from Lucknow would come to Ballia and conduct tests, after which the cause of the deaths would be ascertained. "Maybe there is a disease, which could not be detected. The temperature is also high in the region. During the summers and winters, death rates among diabetic patients and those with breathing difficulties and blood pressure usually increase," Tiwari said.
On Sunday, District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said that the number of beds at the district hospital has been increased to accommodate more patients.
"In order to ensure that patients at the district hospital do not face any difficulties, some air coolers and air-conditioners have been arranged. Apart from this, 15 beds have also been increased," he said.
The DM also said, "CMS Dr Divakar Singh has been sent to Azamgarh, since he gave wrong information about death figures." Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who also holds the health portfolio, said, "The superintendent's removal has been done since he had made a careless remark without having information about the heatwave. All the chief medical officers and the chief medical superintendents in the state have been instructed to identify each and every patient, and provide them treatment."
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.