File photo. Photograph:( ANI )
The disease has claimed lives of over 130 children in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed the deaths of children in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) 'a matter of shame' and 'unfortunate'.
Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, he said that the central government was in touch with the Bihar government to deal with the crisis.
"The deaths in Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us. We have to take this seriously. I am in constant touch with the state Govt and I am sure we will collectively come out of this crisis soon," he said.
He also said that there was an urgent need to strengthen Ayushman Bharat scheme so poor could get affordable medical treatment.
The need of the hour is to strengthen Ayushman Bharat.— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 26, 2019
We want our poor to get top quality and affordable treatment: PM @narendramodi
The death toll climbed to 132 in Muzaffarpur district, while the total number of casualties across the state was 154, officials said. Chief minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to AES.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said the deaths of children in Muzaffarpur due to an outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a matter of “grave concern” and directed the Centre and the Bihar government to file their response on medical care facilities there within a week.
Symptoms of AES include high fever, convulsions and extremely low blood sugar levels. Among the factors said to trigger the syndrome are malnutrition.
(With inputs from agencies)