400 hospitalised, 50 suffer kidney-related infections
Ten persons have so far died in Kano State from the poisoned powdered beverage, against three confirmed barely two weeks ago.
Also, those hospitalised have reached 400 from the initial 243 declared by the state government.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa, who gave an update on the emergency situation, disclosed that additional 50 persons that took the flavoured drink were undergoing kidney-related checks at various hospitals.
Tsanyawa, in a video clip, cautioned residents on the choice of drinks to quench their thirst.
Government had declared that victims of the poisonous drink spread across 17 local councils of the state, including the eight densely populated metropolitan councils.
“The ministry in the recent past announced the outbreak of a strange disease traceable to the consumption of substandard juice. The consumption of this fake and substandard product has negatively impacted on several residents. Today, 10 persons are dead, 400 hospitalised, while about 40 are being treated for various kinds of kidney complications.
“Government is advising people to be mindful of the kind of drink they go for, especially in this excessive hot weather, coupled with the fasting period,” Tsanyawa noted.
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) recently released the result of an investigation into the killer drink and identified unauthorised poisonous additives as a major cause of the deaths.
According to NAFDAC, the additives used in the flavoured beverage, known as Hyroxylamine, is a poison used sometimes for terrorism.
Although the agency disclosed that the merchant responsible for the importation of the chemical has been arrested, it claimed that the substance did not pass through routine check at the point of entry.
NAFDAC warned that adding chemicals to foods and drinks to enhance taste could be harmful and even lead to death.
Before NAFDAC’s investigation, the Kano government had attributed the deaths to an infection contracted through groundwater near a cemetery in the city.