The district health department has started collecting water samples from ice and soda water factories to get them tested from Public Analyst Laboratory, Lahore, for quality checking to avoid a possible outbreak of gastroenteritis in the district.
Water samples from all ice and soda water factories operating in the district would be collected by the end of next week, claimed District Health Officer Dr. Khalid Randhawa while talking to ‘The News’ on Friday. He added that the samples would be sent to PAL, Lahore, for quality checking and strict action would be taken against the factories whose samples would be declared unsafe for consumption.
It is important that the number of cases being registered at public healthcare facilities across district with gastro is continuously on the rise. Also data collected by ‘The News’ revealed that almost every third patient visiting outpatient departments of the allied hospitals is with the complaint of some gastrointestinal infection.
When asked, Dr. Randhawa said that the health department is monitoring the situation closely. He admitted that sporadic cases of gastro are being reported in a number of localities in the district though the infection has not hit population here as an epidemic as yet.
To a query, he said that water samples from private water filtration plants operating in various localities in the district should also be tested for quality checking. “For the purpose, we would request concerned authorities at Wasa to ensure quality of water being provided by local water filtration plants,” he said.
He admitted that in the past it was found that majority of ice and soda water factories were using contaminated water for their production, however, he claimed that this year the health department would ensure usage of safe drinking water by the factories.
Dr. Randhawa, however, added that the health department needs community support to discourage sale of ice and soda water prepared from contaminated water. “In case of any complaint regarding sale of ice and soda water prepared with contaminated water, individuals should report the matter to the health department for necessary action,” he said.