TV news anchor Anjana Om Kashyap drew sharp criticism online after her live broadcast on the Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in Muzaffarpur from the Shri Krishna Medical College Hospital. She was criticised for entering the ICU and interrupting doctors, nurses and ward attendants who were frantically trying to provide aid to the children in the ward to interview them.
In the broadcast which aired on Wednesday, the news anchor from Aaj Tak could be seen in a crowded ICU ward. She was seen asking a doctor, who was running around treating the patients.
In tweets shared by Aaj Tak and Bihar Tak, the channel’s subsidiary in Bihar, she can be seen describing the condition of the ward as unclean, unhygienic. She also drew attention to the fact that there weren’t enough beds with multiple children in each bed. She stated that none of the parents knew what to do and were simply at the mercy of god.
Kashyap can be seen in the clip telling the doctor that he wouldn’t have turned around to treat the patient if she hadn’t shown up with the camera. She also told him, “camera aur mic ke roshni mein ilaaj nahi hota. (Treatment can’t happen only in the presence of cameras and mics)”.
The death toll because of AES lies between 120 and 150 from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur. Most of the victims were children.
Many, including Pratik Sinha, who runs the fact-checking website Alt News, called out Aaj Tak and Anjana for this piece. People have been highlighting the fact that she should not have been allowed inside the ICU and shouldn’t have obstructed a doctor from doing his work.