Encephalitis Claims 100 in Bihar, Nitish Announces Rs 4L Ex Gratia
As many as 62 children have died in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur district.
As many as 62 children have died in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur district.(Photo: IANS)

Encephalitis Claims 100 in Bihar, Nitish Announces Rs 4L Ex Gratia

Superintendent at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) on Monday, 17 June said that the death toll in Bihar’s Muzzaffarpur due to acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has risen to 100.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for an internal meeting on Monday, 17 June, reported ANI. Senior officials of the health department are expected to be present in the meeting.

Earlier, on Saturday, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said that the state government is doing its best to save the children, reported ANI.

“Everything is being made available, from medicines to doctors. We have even called doctors and nurses from AIIMS in Patna,” Pandey said, adding that protocol is being adhered to while monitoring things.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Expresses Grief

Kumar expressed grief over the children's death in Muzaffarpur and ordered a compensation of Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the deceased, an official release said.

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Also Read : Can UP’s Primary Health Centres Treat Rising Encephalitis Cases?

He also directed the officials of the health department, the district administration as well as doctors to take all possible measures to tackle the disease. The chief minister prayed for a speedy recovery of the children suffering from suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

On Sunday, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan reached Sri Krishna Medical College & Hospital in Muzaffarpur, to review the situation prevailing due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

The government has also tried to spread awareness via newspapers, radio jingles, pamphlets and mic announcements, Pandey said.

The health minister, who held a meeting with doctors and officials at the SKMCH, said six more ambulances will be available there from Friday, and a 100-bed new ward will be made operational soon.

The Kejriwal hospital's management also agreed to increase the number of beds if the need arises, he said.

Minister of State for Union Ministry for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, visited Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital to review the situation in light of the outbreak.

Since 1 June, 178 children in SKMCH and and 72 children in Kejriwal Hospital have been admitted respectively with suspected cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). However, most of them were found to be victims of hypoglycaemia.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already directed the officials concerned to ensure that preventive measures were taken in the affected districts, though deaths have so far been reported from Muzaffarpur only.

Health Department's Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar had earlier said the disease has affected 222 blocks of 12 districts especially Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran.

The Indian Express on the other hand quoted experts citing hypoglycaemia as a symptom of AES.

‘No Case of Encephalitis’

Bihar’s Director-in-Chief (Disease Control) RD Ranjan visited Muzaffarpur on Friday, 14 June, heading a team of Health Department officials sent from Patna to assess the situation.

Talking to reporters, he said, “We can confirm the data as of 10 June.” Till then, 34 deaths had taken place and 109 cases of chamki bukhar (brain fever) reported. He reiterated that none of the deaths, thus far, have been caused by AES. “The casualties were a result of hypoglycaemia.”

Also Read : Can Encephalitis Ever be Curbed With Defunct Local Health Centres?

Sunil Kumar Shahi, medical superintendent of Muzaffarpur's Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, denied any case of encephalitis as well. He attributed most of the deaths to low levels of blood sugar, News18 reported.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed concern over the situation and directed the Health Department to ensure that primary healthcare centres and hospitals follow standard operating procedures.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, The Indian Express and News18)

Also Read : Encephalitis Claims 180 Lives in 8 Months in Gorakhpur, UP

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