The lack of oxygen cylinders has resulted in the deaths of 30 children over the past two days at an Indian hospital. According to Aljazeera, the delivery of oxygen cylinders was cut as a result of unpaid bills by Baba Raghav Das Medical College. According to government officials, the state run hospital owed an #Oxygen Cylinder supplies $107,000. The hospital is located in Gorakhpur, a location that is only several hundred miles to the east of New Delhi.

The Government's response

By Friday morning, government officials had supplied the hospital with new oxygen supplies. The commissioner of the city of Gorakhpur earlier noted that "the deaths were not caused by the lack of oxygen" but pointed out that "oxygen suppliers were experiencing payment issues with the hospital." An opposition leader named Raj Babbar questioned the Indian government why there could be a shortage of oxygen and blamed the lack of oxygen for the deaths.

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He also called the government 'insensitive.' Other opposition leaders want the Indian government to pay $30,000 to each family as compensation. A Nobel Peace Prize winner and children’s rights activist named Kailash Satyarthi called the incident "a massacre and not a tragedy."

#India's former chief minister and Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav twitted that "Kin's of the dead children were chased away after they received the bodies." He also twitted that "post mortem was not done on bodies and that admission cards were hidden."

Investigations are underway

Investigations into the deaths of the children are being carried out by the state government of Uttar Pradesh. A team from the federal health department has been sent to the hospital to investigate the incident. A top state health official admitted that the hospital had experienced problems with the supply of oxygen in the recent past.

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Oxygen therapy for children

According to a world health organization (W.H.O) 2016 report, the lack of oxygen in the blood of infants can cause hypoxemia and hypoxia which can result in organ dysfunction and death. Hypoxaemia in children is caused by infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis. It commonly occurs in children living in high altitude areas. The W.H.O report states that respiratory infections such as pneumonia accounts to 18% of deaths of infants under the age of 5 worldwide. Pneumonia is also the leading cause of death among children in this age group. Hypoxia, on the other hand, is the lack of oxygen in body tissues. Signs of hypoxia include numbness of fingers during cold weather.