PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar faced the wrath of angry protestors on Tuesday upon his arrival at Muzaffarpur's Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) where 107 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
Agitated at Kumar’s delayed arrival at SKMCH, people shouted slogans like "Chief Minister wapas jao (Go back Chief Minister)".
Kumar had reached Muzaffarpur by air from Patna and directly went to the SKMCH with a team of senior officials.
The Chief Minister and his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi visited children admitted at the hospital as well as their parents. He visited almost all wards and took details from officials on the suspected outbreak of AES for an hour.
As the relatives of the victims were protesting outside the hospital, the CM left hurriedly without stopping to acknowledge the protesters. or talk to mediapersons.
The Chief Minister will hold a review meeting with the doctors and health officials later in the day to take stock of the situation.
Of the 107 victims, 88 died at SKMCH and 19 at the private Kejriwal Hospital. In both the hospitals, over 100 seriously ill children with symptoms of AES are undergoing treatment.
However, unofficial deaths due the disease are said to be over 100 as some children died in villages before being hospitalised.
On Sunday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited SKMCH to review the situation.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of SKMCH Dr S K Shahi told the media that he directed officials including the chief secretary to leave no stone unturned to check the spread of the disease.
According to a doctor, who accompanied the chief minister to every ward, Kumar was extremely serious and directed officials conduct research to find out more about the outbreak and the causes behind it.
Taking cognizance of the deaths of children due to suspected AES, the National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC), served notices to both the Central and the state government, asking them to furnish details on the matter.
A case has also been lodged against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and
state health minister Mangal Panday in Muzaffarpur. Social activist Tamman Hashmi on Monday had accused the ministers of negligence leading to the deaths of the children. The court has fixed the date of hearing on June 24.
(With online desk inputs)