SC Expresses Concern over Encephalitis Deaths, Seeks Response from Bihar, Centre on Steps Taken to Tackle Situation

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the death of hundreds of children in Muzaffarpur due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), the Supreme Court today issued notice to the Bihar Government and the Centre seeking reply on steps being taken to tackle the situation.

In response to a public interest litigation, the apex court asked the Union and State government to file an affidavit in 10 days on adequacy of health services, nutrition, and hygiene, stating that these are basic rights.
The outbreak of AES had caused the death of more than 150 children in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, according to reports.

The Vacation Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai expressed concern about the situation in Muzaffarpur.

Justice Khanna said that the case requires serious consideration and that the Court requires answers.
Notably, advocates Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani had filed a PIL in the top court seeking a direction to urgently constitute a team of medical experts for treatment of children suffering from Encephalitis.
The PIL sought  a direction to the Centre and the State of Bihar to arrange for 500 Intensive Care Units (ICU) along with the requisite number of medical professionals to deal with the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Muzaffarpur has also ordered a probe against Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey in the matter, reports said.

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