New Delhi: Witnessing the havoc played by the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in different parts of the country, the Central Government on Saturday formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to deal with the danger posed by the viral diseases.

The viruses have caused over 501 child deaths in eastern Uttar Pradesh this year.

The decision to this effect came after Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggested formation of GoM after inspecting condition in Gorakhpur.

Other than Ghulam Nabi Azad, the GoM includes Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water Sanitation Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath.

The GoM will suggest measures for controlling mayhem created by the viruses and ensure grant of financial aid from the Centre for rehabilitation of the infected children.

“The GoM would work on preventive, case management, and rehabilitation measures for consideration and approval of the Cabinet,” said Azad.

The Health Minister said that as per recent reports, cases of AES have been registered more than JE cases.

AES virus spreads from polluted water while JE is caused by mosquito bite.

After stocking the menace of the virus in Gorakhpur, Azad had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati asking to remain alert and take precautionary measures in this regard. However, the Chief Minister had expressed anger over the letter and asked the Central Government to take concrete measures.

JPN/Bureau