Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday visited the G.B. Pant Hospital in the summer capital where 368 children have died since Jan 1 allegedly due to negligence and inadequate facilities.
Describing the situation at the hospital as grave, he said: "There is enormous scope for improvement. Levels of cleanliness are extremely poor inside the hospital...Greater discipline is needed with respect to the presence of attendants accompanying the patients."
He, however, promised that within 10 days "you will see visible improvement not only in respect of the appearance, but in the overall functioning".
"My office and myself had to step in because of the gravity of the situation," the chief minister said.
Based on the preliminary report of the one-man inquiry ordered into the affairs of the hospital, the state government Thursday ordered the hospital's medical superintendent to be shifted out.
"...there has been lack of necessary equipment, staff and even lack of coordination at the administrative level in the hospital," Health and Medical Education Secretary M.K. Dwivedi told reporters Thursday.
Official sources said there had been 68 children's deaths in the hospital in January, 66 in February, 105 in March, 85 in April and 44 up to May 15 this year.