LAYYAH/MULTAN – Death toll has risen to 26 in toxic sweetmeats case while investigations by special team sent by the government are underway,
Ghazi Muhammad, father of four, died at Nishtar Hospital Layyah today whereas 4-year-old Ishrat died at District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital, increasing the death toll to 26. Provincial Food Minister distributed cheques worth Rs 0.5 million among the family members of the deceased.
Dera Ghazi Khan Director General (DG) Health has admitted that no antidote is available in regards to the toxic used in the sweets. Sulfonylurea, an acid used in the amalgamation of roots, has been used as the toxic in the sweets the antidote of which is not availble. Nishtar Hospital administration have forcefully discharged 12 patients keeping in view that nothing could be done in regards to their condition. However, Punjab government has directed to shift the patients to Jinnah Hospital Lahore to provide them with better medical facilities.Death toll had hit 19 on Saturday while another six victims died over the weekend. Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif had dispatched a team to the area to probe the issue. Investigations on part of the team are underway.
The 10-member team is led by Punjab Food Authority (PFA) director Ayesha Mumtaz. The government has handed over each of the 21 bereaved family Rs 0.5 million compensation amount.On the other hand, doctors have declared all the patients critical due to lack of antidote to the pesticide that was mixed with the confection. Reportedly, the pesticide was smuggled in from China.
Seven patients were shifted back to their house as families were not satisfied with the treatment at hospitals. Three retailers of the shop that is under scrutiny are being interrogated at Fatehpur Police Station.
On the other hand, disabled 58-year-old grandfather, Umar Hayat stated that eight sons were his legs that cannot not use anymore . It should be cleared here that Hayat lost all eight sons among 12 members of his family including daughters and grandchildren within three days last week.