Bihar hits panic button as heatwave, encephalitis kills 161
As many as 61 people have died due to the severe heatwave scorching the state and 100 children have died because of encephalitis since Saturday.
A day after at least 44 people died in Bihar, 17 more lives were lost on Sunday to a blistering heatwave that swept across several parts of the state, taking the death toll to 61.
All the deaths reported have been from the just three districts—Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada.Thirty people lost their lives due to the severe weather conditions in Aurangabad, while 20 have died in Gaya and 11 in Nawada district so far since Saturday, Disaster Management Department's Principal Secretary Pratyaya Amrit said.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the deaths due to ‘loo’ and heatstroke, and has announced payment of Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia to the next of kin of those killed, an official release said.
Heatwave killed 30 in Bihar yesterday, 26 in one district alone. No Central advisory issued. 3 TMC workers killed in Bengal post poll violence. Advisory issued promptly. #justpointingout— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) June 16, 2019
Patna, the state capital, registered a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius on Sunday, eight notches above normal, the Patna Meteorological Centre said in a bulletin. The maximum temperature on Saturday was 45.8 degrees Celsius, the highest for June in the past 10 years.
Gaya witnessed a high of 44.4 degrees Celsius, while Bhagalpur recorded 41 degrees Celsius, both well above the normal for this time of the year, according two the Met Centre.
According to reports, there have been 32 heatwaves this year in India—the second-longest spell of high temperatures in the country's recorded history.
A total of 6,167 deaths have reportedly been due to heat waves across the country between 2010 and 2018, with 2015 recording the most number of fatalities.
Encephalitis kills 100 in Muzaffarpur
As many as 27 children succumbed to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll in Muzaffarnagar and surrounding districts of Bihar to 100.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur on Sunday where maximum number of children have died in the last two weeks due to the Syndrome which is locally called the 'Chamki' fever.
NHRC issues a notice to Chief Secretary, Govt of Bihar & Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, calling for a detailed report in deaths due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. pic.twitter.com/xoy6INKZ8S— ANI (@ANI) June 17, 2019
In 2014, a similar AES outbreak claimed 379 lives.
Encephalitis, also called ‘inflammation of the brain’, is the result of an immune system disorder. The infection may be bacterial or viral and is rare, with fewer than 1 million cases recorded year.