MUZAFFARPUR: With the deaths of five more children affected by Acute Encephalitis like Syndrome (AES) at the Shri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) here on Wednesday, the death toll has climbed to 115, even as the Bihar government rushed more medical personnel from other medical colleges to handle the rush of patients from 12 north Bihar districts.
The toll includes 17 deaths recorded at the Kejriwal Hospital, a private institution specialising in paediatrics here.
SKMCH Superintendent Dr SK Shahi said, “Please do not go by media figures. They are baseless and inflated. Our official record is 95, inclusive of the five deaths today. The rest, if there are any, have been reported by Kejriwal hospital.”
Dr Shahi said 118 children admitted with symptoms of AES had been discharged at SKMCH, while 96 children are still under treatment.
He said more paediatricians from AIIMS-Patna and Delhi would be joining the team at SKMCH while 12 doctors had arrived from two government medical colleges in Patna and Darbhanga.
He claimed that all arrangements have been made to ensure zero casualties here but children who are brought at the eleventh hour from far-flung areas and interiors of Bihar are difficult to save.
Doctors at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) said 80 per cent of the cases had been referred to SKMCH only when their condition deteriorated.
Sumitra Devi of Paru village, whose minor granddaughter has been admitted in SKMCH ward 1, admitted that she wasted two days.
“I initially took my granddaughter to a village quack and then to a sorcerer. When her condition did not improve I was advised by people to come to SKMCH,” Sumitra said.