Bihar: Panic Grips State as Heatwave Kills 40, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome Death Toll Rises to 93
Heatwave in India (Photo Credits: IANS)

Patna, June 16: At least 40 people have lost their lives due to heat stroke in several districts of Bihar on Saturday. Reports inform that most of the deaths have been reported from Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada. 27 people died in Aurangabad alone, while 12 deaths were reported from Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya. The District Magistrate (DM) of Gaya was quoted by ANI saying that out of the 12,  seven were from Gaya, two from Aurangabad, one from Chatra, one from Sheikhpura and one from Nawada. Reports inform that a total of 25 patients have been admitted ib Gaya and efforts on to bring them back to normalcy.

According to reports, scorching heat claimed lives of at least 40 people, majorly in three districts of Bihar on Saturday. In the wake of the situation, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the deaths and announced "an ex gratia payment of Rs. 4 lakh to the next of the kin of those who have died". India is witnessing its worst heatwave this year with four cities in north India on a record high. Delhi, Churu in Rajasthan and Banda and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh have witnessed temperatures of 48 degrees Celsius and above.

The deaths due to heat stroke come at a time when the state is already  grappling with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Muzzafurpur. According to government figures, the death toll due to the syndrome has increased to 93 till Saturday as 12 more children died.  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.

A major portion of Bihar continued to reel under an intense heat wave on Saturday. Dry winds blowing across the state capital and many other regions forced people to stay indoors.