Patna: In the wake of the rising number of deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday arrived at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur to take stock of the situation. At least 89 children had succumbed to the disease in this hospital.

Notably, the death toll in Muzaffarpur has risen to 108; 89 in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and 19 in Kejriwal Hospital, news agency ANI reported. (Also read: ‘Bihar Govt Comes Into Active Mode Only at Time of Outbreak,’ Says BJP’s CP Thakur in Attack on Nitish)

Locals were seen holding a protest outside SKMCH as Nitish Kumar was present at the hospital.

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Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has instructed for setting up of a 100-bed paediatric ICU at SKMCH in Muzaffarpur by the state government. In the adjoining districts, 10-bed paediatric ICUs will be set up with support from Centre, so that such cases can be given exclusive treatment and there isn’t an extra load on the facilities at SKMCH, reported ANI.

Also, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had sent notices to the Union Health Ministry and Bihar government. “The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about the rising number of deaths of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar in the past few days,” an official said.

The notices were issued to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Chief Secretary of Bihar, seeking a detailed report, including on the status of implementation of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis Virus/Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (NPPCJA) and other steps taken to deal with the painful situation, the NHRC said in a statement.