A newborn has died after being bitten by rats in a government-run hospital in southern India where he was undergoing treatment, the baby's mother alleged.
Three health officials have been suspended over the incident at the Guntur Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh state where the 10-day-old boy was being treated for a urinary tract problem.
His mother, Chavali Lakshmi, said she alerted staff after noticing some of her son's fingers appeared to have been nibbled off during his stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The baby's left eye was also damaged by the killer rat.
Mrs Lakshmi said: 'Our son was about to undergo a surgery but we noticed wounds on his right hand on Wednesday. Rats had nibbled them (fingers) off.'
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said he has suspended three officials and ordered an inquiry into the incident.
He said: 'Shocked and deeply disturbed after learning that a baby boy died after bitten by rats in Guntur hospital.'
He added: 'Warned officials that such an incident should not recur.'
The hospital's top official, medical superintendent T. Venugopala Rao said: 'It is an unfortunate incident. We set up a rat mesh in NICU soon after receiving complaints about the movement of killer rats. We did not expect that it will take this turn.'
Most of India's 1.2 billion-strong population rely on under-staffed and run-down government hospitals for free treatment.
Last year, a hospital in the central state of Madhya Pradesh hired pest controllers after incidents of rodents damaging hospital equipment and biting patients.
Mrs Lasksmi told theTimes of India: 'My son was not killed by the rats. He was killed by the doctors and staff at GGH.
'We suspected the danger a week ago and requested the staff to save our son. They were not bothered as they did not take our word seriously.'
The infant's father, Ch Nagaraju claimed that doctors told him not to worry too much about the child as he has another two-year-old son.
Source: Daily Mail