The medical superintendent of Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital in North Delhi was Tuesday “suspended” for alleged lapses in connection with the death of nearly 20 children from diphtheria at the facility this month, the area’s mayor said.
The death toll of children from diphtheria at the municipal hospital in Kingsway Camp has risen to 19, North Delhi Mayor Adesh Gupta said.
“The medical superintendent of the hospital has been suspended and we have appointed another MS there. The report of the panel on the matter is expected in two days,” he told PTI.
Gupta had set up a panel a few days ago to look into the death cases and sought a report.
“There were lapses, it seems, so we have taken this action. Rest action will depend on what comes out in the report,” he said.
The hospital is governed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
Then Medical Superintendent Sunil Kumar Gupta on September 20 had said that the patients belonged to age group of up to 9 years.
Sunil Kumar Gupta, in an NDMC statement on September 20, was quoted as saying that diphtheria cases occur only in this season and such a number of cases in the season was “not unusual”.
“From September 6, there have been 157 admissions at the municipal hospital, out of whom 19 have died,” a senior official said.
One more death had been reported at the Delhi government-run LNJP Hospital, taking the toll in the city to 20.
On Sunday, the official had said that out of the 147 patients admitted for diphtheria cases till then, 122 belonged to Uttar Pradesh, 11 from Haryana and 14 from Delhi.
The mayor said he had approached Union Health Minister J P Nadda in the wake of diphtheria deaths for supply of anti-diphtheria serum (ADS) and it has been supplied to the hospital.
“As of now, there is no shortage of the serum,” he said.
The diphtheria deaths had prompted the Delhi Commission for Women to send a notice to the municipal hospital.