Kumar also admitted that the infrastructure at SKMCH was not adequate to deal with the situation.
Patna: After almost a month of silence on the issue of encephalitis outbreak, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday called it “extremely unfortunate and serious issue”.
The chief minister gave the statement while addressing the state Assembly after Opposition created ruckus and raised questions, involving the state government’s preparedness to deal with the crisis at the government hospital.
Speaking on the issue, Mr Kumar said, “Only expressing grief over the issue is not enough. The state government took the matter seriously. We discussed the issue with experts to find reasons behind the epidemic but nobody was able to tell us anything. We later decided to form a panel of experts to find reasons behind the outbreak”.
Mr Kumar and the health department have been under fire after over 151 children died in the state due to encephalitis and brain fever in the last one month.
Reports suggest that the death toll in Muzaffarpur has climbed to 136 after two more children, who were being treated at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), succumbed to the disease in the last 48 hours.
During his speech, Mr Kumar also admitted that the infrastructure at SKMCH was not adequate to deal with the situation. He said, “After I visited SKMCH, I directed health officials to increase the capacity of beds in order to accommodate more children suffering from the disease. I admit that I was visiting SKMCH for the first time.”