Malda (WB): Four more babies have died at the state-run Malda Sadar Hospital, taking the crib death toll to 27.

Hospital sources said the infants were born underweight and with respiratory problems. The deaths took place since last night.

Unofficial sources, however, claimed that the toll stands at 38.

Hospital principal Debasish Bhattacharya had earlier said that they are overburdened with patients far exceeding the total number of beds.

So far, most of the crib deaths were cases referred from areas outside Malda with bronchopneumonia, septicaemia and premature low-birth weight.

Besides neighbouring Bangladesh, patients from North and South Dinajpur, Murshidabad and even Jharkhand availed of the hospital's services.

The hospital has already decided to increase the number of beds in the newborn care unit to 22 from 15, besides raising the number of beds in the neo-natal care unit and the number of child specialists.

(Agencies)