At least 20 children have died in the past 10 days following the outbreak of various unknown viral and tropical diseases in a remote tribal-dominated village in Tripura, officials in Agartala said on Friday.
"The children mostly died at their homes in remote Kangrai tribal village along the Tripura-Mizoram border in northern Tripura," doctors and officials who visited the affected areas told reporters at divisional headquarters Kanchanpur.
Many other children and elders also fell ill. Some were admitted to the sub-divisional hospital.
Family welfare and preventive medicine director R.K. Dhar said: "Several medical teams with specialist physicians from state, district and divisional headquarters have rushed to the affected village, 215 km from here."
Doctors and officials have to trek at least 20 km of hilly terrain to reach the remote village.
Dhar said: "The children might have died due to various viral, seasonal and respiratory infections. The medical teams sent to the village will collect blood and other samples to confirm the disease."
A team of Congress leaders led by legislator Subal Bhowmik Thursday visited the affected village and demanded immediate control of the disease.
"Neither the health minister nor his officials and directors have visited the remote areas. There is no seriousness on the government's part to deal with the outbreak of the unknown diseases," Bhowmik told reporters.
The health infrastructure in the rural areas of Tripura is very poor, he added.