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Authorities to test alcoholic substance

GIS – THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH HAS RECEIVED A SAMPLE OF THE SUBSTANCE ALLEGEDLY RESPONSIBLE FOR FOUR UNUSUAL DEATHS.

The Ministry of Health continues to respond to the incident which transpired in Coolie Town Roseau last week.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Merlene Fredericks, noted that as of Monday, March 19, there have been no additional cases of severe illness or death resulting from the incident. However, over the weekend, a number of persons who felt they may have consumed the substance came forward in order to get tested.

“Throughout the weekend we saw a number of persons who were concerned that they may have been exposed to the substance and we referred approximately 10 persons to the Victoria Hospital for testing and follow up. Those cases were relatively mild, but out of precaution and given that they indicated that they may have been exposed we referred them to the Victoria Hospital where they could be tested and treated appropriately,” she explained.

Dr. Fredericks added that since the last update, someone also provided a sample of the alleged substance which may have been ingested.

“At this point in time we can’t speak to absolutely what this sample is, but we can say that it was a clear colorless liquid resembling water or strong rum. The Ministry of Health accepted the sample and passed it on to the relevant authorities for further testing and verification.

“We would like to remind persons that we are still addressing and investigating this rather unusual incident in which four persons have perished. We believe that there is a toxin, and we’re encouraging persons, should anyone come into contact with the substance or have any sample of it, to either bring it to us so that we can pass it on to the authorities for testing, or dispose of it properly. Ensure that you pour it into the ground and that it disappears. Do not throw away a container containing the substance in the event that someone else picks it up and ingests it.”

The Ministry of Health is reminding persons to be wary about what they eat and drink to ensure they are safe at all times.

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