Patna: Expressing grief at the child deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said in the Bihar legislative assembly that it is an extremely serious issue and that he had called several meetings to discuss the matter at length.Also Read - One Dead, 40 Others Hospitalised After Attending Funeral Feast in Bihar's Muzaffarpur
Recalling his meeting held at AIIMS, Patna, in 2015, the Chief Minister said all experts had given different views regarding the main reason for the outbreak of the disease. Also Read - Bihar Farmer Finds Rs 52 Crores Deposited in Pension Account, Requests Govt to Let Him Keep Some
“I held a meeting at AIIMS Patna in 2015 and various experts had different views as to what is the reason of it. A report was even sent to the US to get an expert opinion on it and all had different views,” Nitish Kumar said. Also Read - Bihar Sculptor Makes PM Modi's Statues to Use as Money Storage Bank | See Pictures
Furthermore, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey in the assembly presented data to support his claim that AES deaths have reduced over the past few years. “According to the data we’ve, till June 28, 720 were admitted, 586 were cured, & 154 children died. Death rate reduced to 21%. According to data from 2011-19, the death rate due to AES has reduced over the past few years,” Pandey noted.
Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) raised slogans in protest at the Legislative assembly, and demanded the resignation of state Health Minister Mangal Pandey over the AES deaths.
(Also Read: Encephalitis Outbreak: Asbestos Homes Could be Responsible For Child Deaths, Say Doctors; Toll Reaches 134)
On June 29, the death toll due to AES in Muzaffarpur stood at 134, including 113 from Sri Krishna medical college Hospital and 21 from Kejriwal.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had reprimanded Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government over the deaths of over 150 children across the state due to AES. The top court had asked the state government to file an affidavit on the questions concerning the adequacy of medicines and nutrition and hygiene amongst others in a week’s time. “This can’t go on, we need answers,” the top court had said.