Bihar Encephalitis Deaths: AES toll rises to 115 in Muzaffarpur; Congress says 'national tragedy'

The Congress on Wednesday described the deaths of children in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) as a "national tragedy," saying that the Centre and state government were insensitive and unprepared.

Bihar Encephalitis Deaths: AES toll rises to 115 in Muzaffarpur; Congress says 'national tragedy'
The total number of AES cases registered so far at the two hospitals was 535 - 383 at SKMCH and 152 at Kejriwal hospital. (PTI Image)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 19 Jun 2019 10:44 PM
New Delhi: The death toll due to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district climbed up to 115 on Wednesday. In the SKMCH hospital the toll rose to 95 from 93, while at the privately owned Kejriwal hospital, the toll remained 19.

The total number of AES-afflicted children said to be under treatment at the two facilities was stated to be 166, of which 138 are at the SKMCH. The total number of AES cases registered so far at the two hospitals was 535 - 383 at SKMCH and 152 at Kejriwal hospital.


The total number of AES cases registered so far at the two hospitals was 535 - 383 at SKMCH and 152 at Kejriwal hospital.

PIL filed in Patna High Court:

A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Patna High Court by Muzaffarpur-based lawyer Sudhir Ojha urging it to direct the state government to take adequate action to contain the outbreak.

The petitioner has named the state government through the Chief Secretary and officials like Principal Secretaries of Health and Child Welfare departments besides District Magistrate and Civil Surgeon of Muzaffarpur as respondents in the petition.

In his petition, Ojha has also prayed for direction to the respondent authorities to take hard legal steps against those found guilty of laxity in discharge of their duty in controlling the outbreak.

He also urged the court to issue directions for setting up of a special medical team to prevent the disease as well as detect the root cause.

In his petition, Ojha has also put the number of casualties so far at 135 and added,  appending newspaper cuttings to his petition to support the claim, that more than 100 children are still struggling.

A Muzaffarpur resident has already 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.

Mohd Nasim has accused them of negligence. The chief judicial magistrate court has posted the matter for hearing next Tuesday.

Doctors from neighbouring districts called in:

Considering the large number of patients in Muzaffarpur, doctors are being mobilised from neighbouring districts there.

A release by the state health department said 11 medical officers posted in Darbhanga, Supaul and Madhubani had been instructed to leave for Muzaffarpur immediately to help the local health authorities in tackling the outbreak.

Three paediatricians posted in other districts have also been pressed into service, while 12 nurses have been directed to report to the the civil surgeon of Muzaffarpur.

Protesters in Delhi demand resignation of CM, health minister

Protesters gathered outside the Bihar Bhawan here Wednesday demanded the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the state's health minister Mangal Pandey over the death of more than 100 children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in the state.

Children's death in Bihar a national tragedy, says Congress

The Congress on Wednesday described the deaths of children in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) as a "national tragedy," saying that the Centre and state government were insensitive and unprepared.

The Congress also demanded coordination between the Centre and the state government to deal with the AES.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said, "What is happening today in Bihar is a national tragedy and national horror as over 150 children have died. The perpetrators of this tragedy is the state and the Central government."

(with inputs from agencies)

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