Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today said the number of infant deaths has been steadily declining in the state and that the figure is currently at its lowest in the past five to six years.
"The number of infant deaths in the state is the least now as compared to the last 5-6 years. The situation has been improving for many years. Excellent medical arrangements are available in the hospitals," Mr Gehlot told reporters in Jaipur.
Earlier today, an official from the hospital in Kota said that three more children died on the first two days of the new year, taking the number of deaths to 103.
Mr Gehlot said that the state government is still working towards reducing the Infant Mortality Ratio (IMR) and the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR). He added that he has invited Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to come and inspect the situation by visiting Kota personally so that he can see the facilities in the hospital.
In a series of tweets, Mr Gehlot said that a visit to the hospital in Kota will clarify the situation for the people.
"I telephoned Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Ji and requested him to visit Kota personally so that he can see the best of facilities and proper management by the state''s Health Department and get himself apprised of the facts," Mr Gehlot said.
"Harsh Vardhan Ji is himself a doctor. If he visits the hospital in Kota, it will also clarify the situation for the people," he added.
As per a government report, at least 91 babies died at the government hospital in Kota in December last year. The Congress government in the state is being targeted by the BJP and other opposition parties.