Palu earthquake victims suffer food poisoning at shelter

Palu earthquake victims suffer food poisoning at shelter
PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Dozens of people from Kabonena and Tipo subdistricts in Palu, Central Sulawesi, who were displaced by a recent earthquake, have been hospitalised for reported food poisoning after consuming donated food on Saturday.

Badrun, one of the food poisoning victims, said the food was distributed to the shelter at around 11 a.m. local time. The displaced people did not feel anything strange as they ate the food but an hour later they started to feel dizzy and nauseous, he said.

The victims - mostly children - were rushed to Anutapura Palu Hospital.

Anutapura Palu Hospital deputy director for medical services Herry Mulyadi said his office had recorded that at least 38 people had been admitted to the hospital, while others were taken to other hospitals.

"Every single one of them complained about feeling dizzy and nauseous," Herry said.

By Sunday, more than half of the food poisoning victims had been discharged.

Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola, who visited the victims at the hospital on Saturday evening, said that everyone should ensure that the food and drinks they donated were safe for consumption.

"I thank everyone who took part in helping the displaced people through their donations; but people, at the same time, have to remain vigilant before consuming [the food]," he said.

Samples of the food had been taken to Central Palu's medical laboratory for examination, Longki said.

It remains unclear who sent the food to the shelter.

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