Bihar encephalitis deaths: AES toll climbs to 140; Protesters demand resignation of CM Nitish Kumar, health min Mangal Pandey
Bihar encephalitis deaths: With the number of deaths crossing the three-digit mark, a anguished Muzaffarpur resident has filed a petition at a local court against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State Ashwini Choubey and state Health Minister Mangal Pandey.
Bihar encephalitis deaths: Fresh deaths due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) have been reported in Bihar, taking the total number of casualties to 140. The deaths took place at the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where 20 fresh cases were brought since Tuesday night. In the wake of the deaths and due to dear of AES, several families in Harivanshpur village of Vaishali district have left their homes. Most families have shifted their children to other villages after the outbreak of the disease.
With the number of deaths crossing the three-digit mark, a anguished Muzaffarpur resident has filed a petition at a local court against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Modi, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State Ashwini Choubey and state Health Minister Mangal Pandey.
Watch | Villagers in Vaishali district migrate as encephalitis kills children
The resident, Mohd Nasim, accused them of negligence, which has resulted in the high number of casualties. The chief judicial magistrate court has posted the matter for hearing next Tuesday. Nitish Kumar had on Tuesday visited the SKMCH hospital, where he faced protests by angry people over the deaths.
Meanwhile, in the national capital, protesters gathered outside the Bihar Bhawan on Wednesday and demanded the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state's health minister Mangal Pandey over the death of the children.
Torab Niazi, National Youth General Secretary of Jan Adhikar Party that organised the protest demanded that Rs 25 lakh pe given to the families of the deceased children. "Nitish Kumar and Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey should step down. We are holding protest here because in Bihar, they have imposed section 144," he said. The Opposition in Bihar is quite and not asking any questions about the death of innocent children, he added.
Watch | Nitish Kumar avoids media question on Bihar encephalitis death
Earlier this week, Kumar had visited SKMC hospital in Muzaffarpur where he faced protests by angry people over the deaths. Niazi said the hospital was only 70 kilometers away from the Bihar chief minister's residence but it took him 15 days to pay a visit. Besides, Danish Khan, Professor in Urdu Department in Delhi University, who also joined the protesters alledged that Bihar government is also hiding the exact number of casualties.
Delhi offers help to Bihar
Calling the Centre's healthcare plan Ayushman Bharat Yojana a "white elephant", Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said the crisis brought about by Bihar's Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has raised questions on the level of preparedness and the effectiveness of health schemes being run by the Central government.
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) June 19, 2019
Speaking to the media, Sisodia extended all help to the Bihar government and said the crisis has raised questions on the level of preparedness and the effectiveness of health schemes such as Ayushman Bharat being promoted by the Central government. "I offer all possible assistance to the Bihar government in this crisis. We are ready to provide help such as sending teams of our doctors, para-medical staff, medicines and ambulances, to the state government," Sisodia said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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