PATNA – Twenty more children succumbed to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in the last 24 hours, taking the toll in Muzaffarpur and other districts of Bihar to 93.
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, who visited Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur on Sunday, expressed concern over the outbreak. Vardhan was accompanied by his junior Ashwini Kumar Choubey and state health minister Mangal Pandey. He held a high-level meeting with health and district officials as well as SKMCH doctors, reported The Times of India.
During his inspection, the Union minister got a glimpse of the tragedy when he came across a sobbing mother who had just lost her five-year-old son. Sources said three children died during Vardhan’s four-hour visit, leaving the minister and other officials shocked.
“The government will leave no stone unturned to contain it at the earliest. All possible measures are being taken for the purpose,” Vardhan told relatives of the affected children. Later, the Union minister held another review meeting in Patna before leaving for New Delhi. Giving a break-up of the casualties, Muzaffarpur civil surgeon SP Singh said while 76 children had died at the SKMCH, 17 deaths had been recorded at the Kejriwal Matrisadan since January this year.
Currently, 115 patients were being treated at the two hospitals, he added. Meanwhile, state health minister Pandey said that a team of doctors and adequate number of paramedical staff had been sent from Patna to Muzaffarpur.