The death toll from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar rose to 69 on Saturday as 12 more children died, health officials said.
Principal Secretary in the state Health Department Sanjay Kumar visited a government run and confirmed that a total of 69 children have now died due to AES in June.
The death toll was 57 on Friday as announced by Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey. But in the last 24 hours, 12 more children died. All of them were undergoing treatment in hospitals in Muzaffarpur, about 75 kms from Patna.
However, unofficial deaths of children from the disease are said to be over 80 as some children died in their villages before being admitted to hospital.
According to reports, two children died in Begusarai district and three died in East Champaran district on Saturday.
Kumar, who met doctors, health officials as well as parents of dozens of seriously ill children still undergoing treatment, said the deaths were reported from two hospitals in Muzaffarpur.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Saturday refused to be garlanded by BJP workers here saying there would be no welcome functions for BJP leaders for the next two weeks in view of the deaths of children due to AES.
He said the Central government is closely monitoring the situation in Muzaffarpur and doing everything to contain it.