Eluru: 22 people fall ill, Deputy CM suspects conspiracy
(Sourced from PTI)
At least 22 people fell ill in Eluru city and a nearby Mandal headquarters in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday. The Deputy Chief Minister (Health) AKK Srinivas has suspected conspiracy behind it. This comes more than a month after several hundred people in Eluru fell ill with symptoms of nausea in the first week of December last year.
The Deputy Chief Minister visited Poolla in the West Godavari district and inquired about the situation from the victims' families, who said they could not rule out the possibility of a conspiracy behind this outbreak. "Going by what the people here said, we have the suspicion that it is a conspiracy. But we can't confirm," Srinivas told a Telugu television news channel.
Official sources said the 22 persons suddenly fell unconscious as froth oozed out from their mouths and they complained of giddiness. "Six of these patients have been discharged after treatment while 15 are admitted to the District Hospital in Eluru. Another person is getting treated in the local hospital in Poolla Mandal headquarters," a senior official said.
"We have collected water and food samples from the houses of the victims, nearby hotels, and the wholesale vegetable market at Gundugolanu. We are collecting samples of meat, chicken, milk, rice, and fertilizers used in paddy cultivation," the senior official added.
Several people in Eluru fell ill with symptoms of fits and nausea in December 2020. Various experts established that organochlorine substances were the causative agents of the disease but drinking water was ruled out as a cause. The disease subsided in less than a week and when things appeared to be returning to normal, some people in Poolla started falling ill again since Thursday.
Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal, Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar rushed to Eluru to take stock of the situation. Medicare is being provided to the affected people in Poolla, Gundugolanu as well, apart from the District Hospital in Eluru.