They were taken ill after having panakam
About 350 persons were taken ill after having panakam, the special drink prepared with jaggery on the occasion of Srirama Navami festival, at Damarcherla mandal headquarters.
Local people believe that the number could be more because some of those who had been taken ill were treated in private hospitals. All the sick had the panakam served at the Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple in Damarcherla mandal headquarters.Villagers’ charge
Doctors attending to the sick said that the villagers were suffering from vomiting and motions due to suspected food poisoning. The villagers alleged that the temple administration had prepared panakam in seven drums, but the people who had the panakam from two drums had taken ill because the drums were earlier used to mix pesticide to be sprayed in fields on Tuesday, but they did not clean the drums properly before using them for preparing the panakam. However, District Medical and Health Officer P.Amos said that they had sent a sample of the panakam to a lab to find out the reasons for people falling sick.
Dr. Amos told The Hindu that some 180 persons were admitted to the Miryalguda Area Hospital and that treatment was being provided to 100 people in a makeshift medical camp in Damarcherla, while the remaining were undergoing treatment in Damarcherla Primary Health Centre.
Miryalguda Area Hospital superintendent Srinivas Nayak said that the condition of a Class X girl student, who was attending board examination, turned serious when they referred her to Hyderabad for better treatment. Some of the persons who had been discharged were again coming to hospital complaining that there was no stop to vomiting and motions. Most of the people who were taken ill belong to Vatchya tanda, Betty tanda, Jaitram tanda, Bettlagunta tanda, Mangu tanda and Veerlagudem.