| Hyderabad |
Updated: December 6, 2020 7:19:09 pm
At least 227 persons, including several children, some of them as young as 4 years old, have taken ill in Eluru in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Officials suspect it could be a case of water contamination, but viral encephalitis is also not being ruled out.
Eluru Government Hospital superintendent Dr Mohan told news agency ANI: “Number of people falling sick in Eluru is increasing. From last night to this morning around 140 persons were admitted and discharged. Symptoms include nausea and fainting. Reason for sudden increase is not yet known.”
District Collector R Muthyala Raju said that blood samples have been collected to determine the cause of the illness.
The people who fell sick belong to four societies of Ashok Nagar and Arundhatipet in Eluru town, where a case of contamination of drinking water was reported 10 days back.
Health Minister A Kali Krishna Srinivas said that teams of doctors have been rushed from Vijayawada to assist the local doctors and also to investigate the cause of the illness. “The people who fell sick, especially the children, suddenly started vomiting after complaining of burning sensation in their eyes. Some of them fainted or suffered bouts of seizures. Some were in critical condition when they were first brought on Saturday but now all of them are safe,” said a medical officer at Eluru Government Hospital, where over 100 additional beds have been made available as a precaution.
District Collector Raju said that health officials have started a door to door survey of the affected areas to check for water contamination.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Telugu Desam Party has criticised the government for neglecting drinking water sources. “This is apathy of the AP Government. The drinking water bodies have not been cleaned since 18 months and due to that more than 150 have taken ill. Eluru is the health minister’s constituency and it is the irresponsible YSRCP Government’s collective lack of conscience and inability to govern yet again,” TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said in a statement.
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