Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan held a virtual meeting with Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey to discuss preparedness for acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) outbreak among small kids while also taking stock of the State's COVID-19 response. The meeting lasted for nearly two hours, the leader said.
"Every year in Bihar, after summer starts, especially in June we see cases of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) among small children which causes a lot of fatalities. Today, I held a video conferencing meeting with the Health Minister of Bihar specifically on the issue of AES. Bihar government has created more pediatric wards in the state and is alert on the issue," Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.
In relation to COVID-19, the Union Health Minister observed that the condition in Bihar is slowly sliding towards trouble. "The doubling rate in India is around 11 days, whereas in Bihar it is much lower, especially in certain districts. Also, testing facilities are limited and the State is expecting a large wave of returning migrant workers from elsewhere. We discussed all these matters in great detail," the Minister said.
AES, locally know as “Chamki Bukhar”, is a disease that reoccurs in the summer season every year in Bihar, particularly in Muzaffarpur district, and claims hundreds of lives among small children. Various reasons have been attributed to the outbreak, including a dire malnourishment problem among kids in these areas.
Bihar has so far reported 418 cases of COVID-19, of which 82 patients have recovered and two have died. India reported 1,993 new cases of novel Coronavirus infection in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry informed on Friday, posting the sharpest increase in cases yet. The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases stands at 35,043; while 25,007 people are under active medical supervision.