Berhampore (WB): After Malda, infant deaths were reported from the state-run Behrampore Hospital in Murshidabad district, where nine babies have died during the last 48 hours.

The District's chief medical officer (health), Shazahan Siraj, said that most of the cases were referred from rural health clinics with complaints ranging from acute respiratory distress, malnutrition and to being underweight.

He said that the ages of the nine dead babies ranged from two days to three months.

Siraj admitted that the paediatric unit of the hospital lacked the requisite infrastructure having only 20 beds against the average daily admission rate of 120 babies.

Siraj, who visited the hospital, said that more doctors and nursing staff had been requisitioned to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, there was no let-up in death of infants in the Malda Sadar Hospital which reported 110 deaths between January one and January 27.

The hospital's vice-principal, MA Rashid, told reporters on Saturday that of the 110 deceased, 87 were below one-year-old.

According to him, the state health department has decided to open a 70-bed separate paediatric unit in the Malda Sadar Hospital within a month to cope with the situation.

Besides, the number of doctors, nurses and para-medical staff would be increased shortly, he said.

(Agencies)