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Bihar’s Health Minister More Worried About Cricket Than Death Of Children Due To Encephalitis: Randeep Surjewala

“It is unfortunate that in 2019, in the 21st century, so many children have died. There are some shortcomings on the part of the government."

New Delhi: The Congress Monday hit out at the Centre and the Bihar government over the deaths of 103 children in the state due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), saying better preparedness could have saved lives.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also posted a video on Twitter in which Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey is heard at a meeting asking for the score of the India versus Pakistan World Cup cricket match on Sunday.

“Bihar’s Health Minister Mangal Pandey seems more worried about cricket score than the death of children due to Encephalitis,” Surjewala tweeted and tagged the video.

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Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the central and state governments should do everything possible to control the situation.

“It is unfortunate that in 2019, in the 21st century, so many children have died. There are some shortcomings on the part of the government and administration because they know that in the summers encephalitis hits Bihar so the health department should have been ready,” he said.

“The Centre also should have been prepared. Medical response teams should have been ready so that many lives could have been saved,” Sharma said.

Six children died on Monday in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, taking the toll due to suspected case of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) to 103.

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According to a release issued by the district administration, 18 deaths were reported from Kejriwal hospital in the district and 85 from Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had visited the patients on Sunday and assured their families of all possible help from the Centre.

While doctors have maintained that the deaths occurred due to AES, state officials claimed that most of the victims, below the age of 10, have fallen prey to hypoglycemia, a condition caused by low level of blood sugar, electrolyte imbalance due to high temperature and extreme humidity.

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