Bhubaneswar, July 20 (IANS) Odisha Saturday ordered a probe after nine new-born babies died within 24 hours in a leading government-run hospital, an official said.
The new-born babies, all between one and seven days old, were admitted for treatment in the sick neonatal intensive care unit (SNICU) of Veer Surendra Sai Medical College and Hospital (VSS) at Burla in Sambalpur district, about 325 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.
"The babies had different complications. They died between 9 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday," medical college superintendent Laxmikanta Das told IANS.
Denying any foul play in the death of the babies, Das said most of them had been referred from elsewhere, and many were underweight.
The state government, however, ordered a probe after the parents of the babies and residents of the area staged a demonstration near the hospital, accusing the staff of negligence.
"We have ordered an inquiry, and deputed an expert team to the hospital for investigation," state health secretary P.K. Mohapatra told reporters.