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Encephalitis death toll rises to 107 in Bihar, Nitish Kumar visits Muzaffarpur, faces protests

Hundreds of angry protesters staged a demonstration on Tuesday against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s visit to Muzaffarpur district, where 107 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

The protest took place outside the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where Nitish Kumar arrived with Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi. The protesters, annoyed over poor medical treatment and lack of facilities, shouted slogans like “Chief Minister wapas jao (Go back Chief Minister)”. The Chief Minister and his Deputy visited children admitted at the hospital as well as their parents and left without stopping to acknowledge the protesters.

The Chief Minister will hold a review meeting with the doctors and health officials later in the day to take stock of the situation. Of the 107 victims, 88 died at SKMCH and 19 at the private Kejriwal Hospital. In both the hospitals, over 100 seriously ill children with symptoms of AES are undergoing treatment. However, unofficial deaths due the disease are said to be over 100 as some children died in villages before being hospitalised. On Sunday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited SKMCH to review the situation.

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