Speaking on the issue Nitish Kumar said, 'Only expressing grief over the issue is not enough. The state government took matter seriously.'
Patna: After almost a month of silence on the issue of encephalitis outbreak, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday called it “extremely unfortunate and serious issue”.
Chief Minister gave the statement while addressing the state assembly after opposition created ruckus and raised questions involving the state government’s preparedness to deal with the crisis at the government hospital.
Speaking on the issue Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, “Only expressing grief over the issue is not enough. The state government took the matter seriously. We discussed the issue with experts to find reasons behind the epidemic but nobody was able to tell us anything. We later decided to form a panel of experts to find reasons behind the outbreak”.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the health department has been under fire after over 151 children died in the state due to encephalitis and brain fever in the last one month.
Muzaffarpur, where the majority of children died due to the disease, has been declared as the worst hit district by the state health department. Reports suggest that the death toll in Muzaffarpur has climbed to 136 after two more children who were being treated at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) succumbed to the disease in the last 48 hours.
During his speech Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also admitted that the infrastructure at SKMCH was not adequate to deal with the situation. He said that “After I visited SKMCH I directed health officials to increase the capacity of beds in order to accommodate more children suffering from the disease. I admit that I was visiting SKMCH for the first time”.
In June the SKMCH management had converted prisoners ward into a makeshift pediatric ICU to ease the crisis of beds. According to an official “, at least three makeshift ICUs were set up to ease the crisis of beds at the SKMCH where most of the children have been admitted for treatment”.
Earlier during his speech, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said that 780 children were admitted to hospital for treatment till June 28 out which 584 were cured and 154 died.
“Data shows that death rate due to AES have reduced drastically over the past few years”. Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said in the state assembly.