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While Children Continue To Die Of Encephalitis, Bihar’s MoS Health Slept Through A Press Conference About It

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, however, claims he was busy in “manan-chintan”.

The death toll for Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is on the rise in Bihar. With 100 dead so far, things are tense in the state. In the meanwhile, however, during a press conference organised by Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, was reportedly caught sleeping.

On June 16, Sunday, Ajit Anjum, a consulting editor for TV9 Bharatvarsh tweeted multiple photos of Choubey slumbering through this crucial meeting. Anjum wrote that while Harsh Vardhan was addressing the press, Choubey was asleep, and would occasionally wake up and pretend that he was alert throughout.

Also Read: ‘Our Children Are Dying, Kill Us As Well’: Grieving Parents Lash Out At Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Over Encephalitis Crisis

Addressing questions about his nap, Choubey told ANI that he wasn’t sleeping at all. He was, in fact, busy in “manan-chintan” — deep thought.

As per a report in the Indian Express, the death toll for Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) rose to 100 in Bihar on Monday, June 17. As per reports, in the past 24 hours, more than twenty children have succumbed to the disease. AES is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headaches.

Muzaffarpur civil surgeon SP Singh said while 76 children had died at the SKMCH, 17 deaths had been recorded at the Kejriwal Matrisadan since January this year. Currently, 115 patients were being treated at the two hospitals.

An official release from the Chief Minister’s office said Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the children’s death in the state and has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh for each of the children killed in the outbreak.

Last week, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said a team that was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the causes of encephalitis.

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