As many as 36 people have died, 25 of these in Gujranwala, while several are reportedly in a sensitive condition due to the usage of hazardous cough syrup during the last four days in Pakistan’s most populous province Punjab.
According to Medical Superintendent of District Head Quarter Hospital Dr Anwar Amanullah, 21 persons were brought from different areas who had consumed the alleged toxic cough syrup and drugs excessively. Seventeen out of 21 died including the former Councilor of Nadi Pur Town, Chaudhry Irfan.
It was the second wave of deaths from apparent cough syrup abuse since just over a month ago when up to 19 people died in Lahore.
In spite of the deaths in Lahore being highlighted by the media, the syrup was being sold without prescription at medical stores across Punjab. After drinking the syrup, the men fell unconscious and were brought to hospital. Doctors referred some of them to Mayo Hospital in Lahore.
Relatives of some of those who died alleged that many medical store owners were selling the killer syrup without asking for prescriptions.
It merits mentioning here that some medications can also be used for inebriation, as this was evident in the recent high-profile Tyno syrup deaths case.
Joint teams of health and tehsil municipal administration have sealed a dozen medical stores and seized 8,000 bottles of toxic cough syrup CM’s Adviser on Health Khwaja Suleman Rafiq visited Gujranwala on Friday and held a meeting with district administration and health department officials and ordered a crackdown on medical store owners selling toxic cough syrup.