New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea today on the encephalitis epidemic claiming more and more lives of children in Bihar by each passing day. The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has reached a staggering 130 in Muzaffarpur.

The top court on Wednesday had agreed to hear public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two advocates, Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, who claimed that there has been a complete failure of state machinery in trying to combat the spread of the virus.

The PIL stated, “There was no availability of doctors, beds, intensive care units and medical professionals to deal with an epidemic level situation.”

The petitioners also added that the disease is completely curable but it is the inaction of medical practitioners in Muzaffarpur that is leading to the mounting death toll in children.

The PIL urges the Supreme Court to intervene and control the developing health crisis in Bihar by ordering the Central and state governments to arrange for 500-bed ICUs and 100 mobile ICUs, besides having adequate doctors, nurses, and medical equipment.

In addition, the plea filed also seeks the top court to order all private hospitals in the state to admit and treat encephalitis-affected patients free of cost.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is yet to break his silence over the mounting death toll in Muzaffarpur. Mediapersons have for weeks been trying to put questions to him in connection with the matter, but Nitish Kumar has maintained a stout silence since.