Two kin of Christchurch victims die after killings: officials

The police spokesman confirmed that the death toll from the attacks remained at 50. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 March 2019
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Two kin of Christchurch victims die after killings: officials

  • The woman was one of two relatives of shooting victims to die this week
  • “Last night she went to bed and she did not wake up. She passed away,” an Auckland imam said

CHRISTCHURCH: A grief-stricken mother who had traveled to New Zealand after her son was gunned down in the Christchurch mosque massacre passed away overnight, officials said Saturday.
The woman, whose name was not available, was one of two relatives of shooting victims to die this week as the city’s close-knit Muslim community reels from the killings of 50 people by an Australian white supremacist more than a week ago.
Hafiz Junaid, an imam from the city of Auckland in northern New Zealand, told AFP that the mother of one of the victims came from Jordan following the tragedy.
Junaid said the woman was deeply distraught by her son’s loss.
“Last night she went to bed and she did not wake up. She passed away,” Junaid said.
A police spokesman confirmed to AFP that one relative died from “a medical event,” and that another also had died, but offered no further details in either case.
The attack also left dozens wounded, some in critical condition, but the police spokesman confirmed that the death toll from the attacks remained at 50.
The larger of the two mosques attacked by the gunman let in small groups of worshippers for brief visits on Saturday for the first time since the tragedy, shortly after police handed the houses of worship back to the local Muslim community.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in the attack.


Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

Updated 17 June 2019
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Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

  • Multi-disciplinary institute planned to identify reason behind disease
  • Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by viruses. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting

NEW DELHI: When Arun Ram took his four-year-old daughter Sandhya Kumari to hospital in late May, he thought she was suffering from fever brought on by a seasonal virus.

But within 12 hours of her admission his daughter had died.

The initially mild fever had run out of control, causing mental disorientation, seizures and delirium.

Kumari was among more than 100 children who fell victim to acute encephalitis syndrome in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

The state’s central districts of Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran are worst affected. Official estimates suggest a death toll of 130, with 15 children under the age of 10 dying on Sunday alone.

Locally, the syndrome is known as “chamki” fever.

“In my hospital, 291 patients have been admitted, 91 have been discharged and 83 have lost their lives up until Monday,” said Dr. Sunil Kumar Sahi, medical superintendent of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

“The cause of the death is not known,” he told Arab News.

“This is matter of research. We follow a medical protocol in treating such patients because all the children are suffering from inflammation of brain or encephalopathy.

“We are telling the people that they should not come out in the heat, and they should eat on time. If there is a fever, they should take a cold bath and take medicine.” 

Sanjay Kumar, Bihar government’s principal secretary, said that the disease had affected 222 blocks in 12 districts in central Bihar.

On Sunday, a five-year-old girl died in front of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while he was visiting the hospital.

“The situation is really grim in the area adjoining Muzaffarpur. The death toll has reached 127, but government data is still not giving a clear picture,” Raj Kumar, a local reporter, said.

The government has announced it will set up a 100-bed hospital to ease the growing concern in the region. 

A team of doctors has been deployed in central Bihar’s main hospitals to handle the growing number of cases.

“A multi-disciplinary institute will be set up here in the next year to identify the reason behind this disease,” the health minister said.