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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said deaths in Bihar due to encephalitis are sad and unfortunate.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "The deaths in Bihar due to acute encephalitis syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us. We have to take this seriously."

Narendra Modi said he was in constant touch with the Bihar government and assured people that "we will collectively come out of this crisis soon".

Stressing on better health facilities, Narendra Modi said, "The need of the hour is to strengthen Ayushman Bharat. We want our poor to get the best quality and affordable medical treatment."

The Congress on Tuesday had slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that he resorted to "old evading tactics" to hoodwink the common people as if he was still in election mode and failed to address the real issues.

"Prime Minister in his own reply has disappointed the people of our country by not taking up issues concerning the people, right from agriculture to industry to unemployment and last but not the least Bihar's encephalitis situation where hundreds of children have lost their lives," Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said.

On Tuesday, one more child died after being admitted to a hospital for acute encephalitis syndrome.

The death was reported at S K Medical College and Hospital, which has accounted for 111 casualties, the maximum number in the state, since June 1.

The government-run hospital has so far registered 435 cases of AES since the beginning of the month, according to figures released by the district administration.

In addition, 163 AES cases have been registered at the privately-owned Kejriwal Hospital, where 20 children have so far died. The Bihar health department had released state-wide figures, which put the total number of registered cases, across 20 districts, at 714.
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