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- Saturday, December 29, 2012 - From Print Edition


GUJRANWALA: The death toll from the intoxicating cough syrup rose to 25 in Gujranwala district, while two others died in Toba Tek Singh after consuming the same syrup on Friday, according to hospital and police sources.


As many as 21 people died at the DHQ Hospital, Gujranwala, after taking the said cough syrup from Wednesday to Friday, while four residents of Kamoke died in Lahore hospitals for the same reason.


About a dozen others are under treatment at the DHQ Hospital, and 10 others have been referred to Lahore, according to hospital and family sources. The deceased include former naib nazim Irfan Latif, Munir Bilal, Irfan Saeed, Arshad, Mubashar, Waseem, Yusuf, Shafiq, Zahid, Rafiq, Allah Wasaya, Anwar, Iqbal, Intizar, Akbar Ali, Chand, Pervaiz, Amanat, Shehazad, Adnan and Faisal. Those dying in Lahore include Sajjad, Qayyum and Shafiq. The district administration, led by ADC (G) Ms Saleh Saeed, and aided by the police, is conducting raids at pharmaceutical godowns to confiscate the intoxicating syrup. A raiding team seized 7,700 bottles of the intoxicating syrup.


A distributor Haseeb Khalid was arrested and handed over to the Civil Lines police for registration of a case.


A patient Hassan told this scribe the sale points of intoxicating syrup were situated at Pasroor Road, Ferozwala Road, Shaheenabad, etc, in Gujranwala.


The family members were facing problems in shifting their patients to hospitals and from one hospital to another hospital due to shortage of ambulances. Private ambulances were demanding Rs6,000 for shifting patients to Lahore.


According to hospital sources, Abdul Rashid and a young boy Ali Nawaz of Sarfraz Town, Toba Tek Singh, died at the DHQ Hospital, TT Singh, after taking a cough syrup on Thursday night.


However, EDO Health Dr Muhammad Ashraf Javed denied that both died of Tyno syrup consumption. He said one of them died of a heart attack and the other also died a natural death.