Double Hosp Beds, Build Dharmshala: In a Late Move, Nitish Gives Orders to Contain Encephalitis Outbreak

New Delhi: Days after encephalitis killed over 100 children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday gave directions to increase the number of beds to 2,500 at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and build a 'dharmshala' for families of the admitted.

According to the order, the CM has asked to convert SKMCH into a 2,500-bed hospital from the existing 610 beds. He has also given orders to build a separate waiting area or dharamshala for relatives of the patients.

Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital is the same medical facility where 89 children have died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Kumar said that an environmental study should be conducted of affected areas and an analysis should be done.

Six children died on Monday in Muzaffarpur district, taking the toll due to suspected case of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome to 125.

According to a release issued by the district administration, 18 deaths were reported from Kejriwal hospital in the district and 85 from Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), where Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had visited the patients on Sunday and assured their families of all possible help from the Centre.

Health Minister Vardhan on Monday issued directions for immediately sending another high-level team to Muzaffarpur to set up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research centre in the wake of these deaths.