Nitish gets hostile reception in Muzaffarpur
Muzaffarpur: Public grief gave way to outrage here Tuesday when angry people raised slogans as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a meeting with officials to take stock of the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome outbreak, which has claimed the lives of over 100 children.
The death toll has climbed to 105 with both the SKMCH hospital and the privately owned Kejriwal hospital reporting one casualty during the night, the district administration said.
Kumar, who had been away in New Delhi since Saturday, returned to the state capital Monday evening and held an emergency review meeting on the AES situation with officials.
After the meeting the government swung into action, declaring it would bear the expense for treatment of those found with the syndrome even if it took place at private hospitals.
Instructions were also issued for equipping primary health centres with necessary facilities so that children with symptoms of AES in remote areas could be provided with medical attention closer home since, in several cases, the time involved in travelling to the district headquarters and seeking admission to hospitals had led to worsening of the condition of patients.
On Tuesday morning, Kumar rushed to the SKMCH hospital in Muzaffarpur, where more than 300 children have been admitted with complaints of AES since June 1. Close to 90 of them have died.
Moreover, the litchi grown in Muzaffarpur is said to contain a toxin which can cause a drop in blood sugar levels if consumed by a malnourished child.