New Delhi: A PIL has been filed against Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar over the death of 109 children in Muzaffarpur due to the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Over 100 children have succumbed to symptoms of AES in Bihar this month, with Muzaffarpur being worst affected.
The PIL, filed on Tuesday, also names Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, his deputy Ashwini Choubey and Bihar's health minster Mangal Pandey, the ANI reported.
On Monday, the National Human Rights Commission sent notices to the Union Health Ministry and Bihar government over reports of increasing deaths of children due to AES in Muzaffarpur.
Kumar on Tuesday visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur and ordered to increase the capacity of the hospital to 2500 beds, with 1,500 beds to be arranged immediately. The hospital currently has a capacity of 610 beds. He also ordered a 'dharmshala' to be built for the relatives & families of the patients.
The chief minister faced angry protesters outside the hospital where people also raised slogans.
Meanwhile, the Centre has assured all possible help and measures to the state government to deal with the health crisis. Vardhan met the families at the SKMCH and held a meeting with senior officials and doctors.
Citing heat and humidity as a possible reason of the disease, the minister said the Ministry of Earth Sciences would help formulate an action plan with the state government to deal with the situation.
State government officials, however, maintained that majority of the victims had died due to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by very low level of blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance.