Despite the deteriorating conditions in the hospitals in Muzaffarpur where the death toll due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome has reached 170, political leaders, showing complete disregard to the solemness of the situation, and the pressure on the hospital administration, are continuing with their token visits to the hospitals.
When confronted as to why was he showing such a show of strength even when children are dying, Kanhaiya Kumar first tried to evade the question but later said, “Mai akele aaya hun. Mai kisi ke saath nahi aaya. Ye hospital hai, yaha prarthana kijiye, koi bat mat kijiye” (I have come alone, I have not come with supporters. This is a hospital and therefore pray here, don’t talk)
The CPI leader’s visit along with more than 100 supporters, allegedly created a ruckus in the already deteriorated condition of the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital. Irked by Kanhaiya Kumar’ insensitivity, relatives and health workers outside the hospital started protesting against him.
The protestors claimed that Kumar had such a huge trail of people along with him that even sweepers and other hospital staffs were finding it difficult to do their work smoothly.
However, the sedition accused, Kanhaiya Kumar was not the only leader who has made such namesake visits to the hospitals, which have been grappling to deal with the outbreak of AES.
Ironically, merely a day after the Superintendent of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), Sunil Kumar Shahi, urged the political parties to go to villages to spread awareness instead of visiting the hospitals and hampering the work of healthcare staff, the SKMCH sealed its gates for VVIP passage.
Shahi had stated that the politicians’ visits to the hospital were not needed and instead of visiting with their party supporters and officials and overcrowding the hospital space, they should work to spread awareness about the visit.
The gates of the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital, probably due to political pressure, was shut from the morning on June 20 and patients were not allowed inside the hospital. This was done to provide VVIP treatment to LJD leader Sharad Yadav who came to visit the patients in the hospital by unsealing the gate for him and then sealing it again.
Patients alleged that the token visit of Sharad Yadav is unnecessary as the facilities in the hospital are disastrous. Speaking to Republic TV, a patient alleged that the doctors have threatened that if they talk to media their children will be thrown out of the hospital. The agitated protestors also exposed the insensitivity of the authorities.
The state government has also appeared to be unfazed about the increasing number of cases and subsequent death due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES).
In a shocking display of apathy towards the rising distress over the deaths due to the outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, its Health minister, Mangal Pandey was caught on camera on June 17 being more concerned about the India-Pakistan match rather than the deteriorating situation in the state.
Earlier, two journalists, Anjana Om Kashyap and TV9 Bharatvasrsh’s Ajit Anjum had also faced criticism for barging into the ICU of the hospital while doctors worked to treat the children.
The Bihar government is facing widespread criticism for its lack of management and inability to control the epidemic. Earlier today, another case of sheer insensitivity was brought to the fore when skeletal remains of several unclaimed dead bodies from post mortem department were found dumped behind the hospital premises.