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AES deaths: Ministers face social media users’ wrath

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New Delhi, June 20, 2019-

With over 100 children losing their lives to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, social media users are livid with strong messages targeting several key functionaries, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while others have even asked for their resignations.

“Nitish Kumar: A heartless man, a terrible friend, a disloyal ally and an awful Chief Minister,” wrote one user on Twitter.

“Disaster of Health and Education in Bihar. @NitishKumar. CM has time to visit Iftar party but it took 17 days for him to visit the Hospital. No water to drink in Hospitals. No Research yet on the unknown Disease. No beds in the Hospitals. Children dying for the last 10 years,” alleged another user.

Kumar visited Muzaffarpur on Tuesday and following his visit the government commissioned a survey in blocks and villages which reported high death toll to study the socio-economic profiles of the affected families and their living conditions.

Hundreds of angry protesters staged a demonstration against Kumar’s visit to Muzaffarpur.

The protest took place outside the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH).

The protests continued on social media on Wednesday.

“Shameless Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi (Bihar Deputy Chief Minister). children are dieing (sic) due to non availability of proper medical care and medicine. Bihar govt officials have time for enjoying party. Why Nitish Kumar is so insensitive towards death of children. Why central govt is silent spectator,” wrote another user.

Earlier, Opposition leaders demanded the resignation of Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey on Monday for allegedly asking about the score during the World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan, while he was at a press conference of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in Muzaffarpur district where nearly 100 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also came under the attack for the deaths in Bihar. They reminded him of the promises he had made in 2014. He promised that a 100-bed paediatric intensive care unit would be set up at SK Medical College hospital. He also announced setting up o five Vilogical Diagnostic Laboratories in the state.

“The trio of Nitish, Sushil Modi and Harshavardhan should resign and quit politics forever. #BiharInvestigation,” said one user.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday said that Vardhan has directed for five teams of senior pediatricians and para-medics to be sent to Muzaffarpur immediately to further strengthen the state efforts and measures in the affected districts.

Ten pediatricians (including five senior consultants) and five para-medics from RML Hospital, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge Medical College will be part of the five teams, the statement added.  (Agency)

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