67 girls students in hosp after food poisoning

HYDERABAD: About 67 girls from Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), Chevella in , were taken to a hospital on Sunday following symptoms of food poisoning. On Saturday, the girls from the government-run residential school had fruit salad before dinner at the hostel mess. By 8 am on Sunday, 67 out of 191 students complained of severe stomach ache and vomiting. They were taken to Chevella Government Hospital.

While eight girls were placed under observation, 37 were referred to for better treatment. Remaining students were sent back after treatment. Dr Shankar Chintala, duty resident medical officer, Niloufer Hospital, said, ?Initially, 37 girls came to Niloufer, but due to age constraints we could only admit 15 students who are under 12 years of age. Remaining were referred to Fever Hospital. All students are kept under observation at a special ward and are being given light food.?

According to health officials, 12 students have been admitted at Fever Hospital and 10 at OGH, as per request from parents. They said that a thorough enquiry will be held.

KV Swarajya Lakshmi, district medical and health officer of Ranga Reddy, said: ?We were told that the girls had fruit salad the previous night. In cases of food poisoning because of fruits, it is common to see the effect even after 24 hours. We have already collected the sample of the salad. Apart from that, water and food samples have also been collected. We will also check the sanitation condition at the hostel and after thorough enquiry action will be initiated against the staff if necessary.? Lakshmi said water contamination can be ruled out as hostel is provided canned mineral water. She said, ?Vitals of all the girls are stable and they will all be discharged tomorrow.?

Swetha Reddy B, special officer of KGBV, Chevella, said, ?We have no clue what went wrong, and are trying to figure out reasons behind girls becoming sick.?

Meanwhile, child rights activists blamed hostel warden and other staff, and demanded that a case be booked against them for negligence. They also demanded suspension of the staff. Activist Achyuta Rao said, ?Stringent measures should be taken to ensure that students are not given contaminated food.?

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