Mumbai: With another four patients dying, including two minors, in the past 24 hours at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital in Thane, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has announced a time-bound probe into the unusually high death toll that has created a furore, here Monday.
Official sources have confirmed the latest four fatalities – coming a day after 18 patients died Saturday-Sunday night – at the Thane Municipal Corporation’s 500-bed hospital located in the CM’s hometown – taking the toll to 27 in just four days.
As a major political row erupted over the large number of deaths, Shinde ordered setting up a 9-member committee of medical experts which will investigate the probable causes in detail and submit its report to the government by Aug. 25.
Hospital insiders said that another 4 patients, among them two minors, have succumbed since Sunday night at CSMH, after the first six deaths were reported last week, and the 18 fatalities Sunday.
Top Opposition leaders including Congress state President Nana Patole, Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Vijay Wadettiwar, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule, MP, state President Jayant Patil, General Secretary Dr. Jitendra Awhad, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut, Leader of Opposition (Council) Ambadas Danve and others attacked the state government for various lapses leading to the multiple fatalities.
Among the reasons cited by the TMC authorities are a sudden surge in the number of patients from far-flung areas, including neighbouring district of Palghar, lower intake capacity owing to shifting of some wards, and some patients admitted who were already critical, had been rushed here from other hospitals.
Not convinced, the Opposition has slammed the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-NCP (AP) government alleging lapses on various counts, insufficient resources, lack of adequate medical, nursing and para-medical staff at the CSMH and an inept administration as responsible for the tragedy.
An agitated Sharad Pawar demanded to know what the government was doing while Danve said the CM is responsible for the multiple deaths of innocent patients in the past few days.