Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], December 12 (ANI): As the investigation over the sudden outbreak of unknown illness in Eluru continues, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Friday held a video conference with medical experts in Amaravati.
The Chief Minister said that drinking water should be tested more number of times. He asked the experts team to get the results cross-checked again and again so that there will be no mistake.
"The pesticide being used now should be tested for one month. It should be confirmed whether water pollution is the reason for the present condition," he said.
He also said that farmers should be encouraged to do organic farming. Reddy also asked experts to test rice samples again.
"Lead, organochlorine and organophosphorus are being traced in blood samples. The source should be accurately found out so that such incidents won't recur," said the Chief Minister.
The number of cases of a mystery illness, which gripped Eluru in West Godavari district, has decreased and as of now five persons at Eluru and eight persons at Vijayawada are undergoing treatment. All the remaining patients have been discharged.
According to officials, two more persons fell sick since last night.
As many as 227 people, including 46 children and 76 women were hospitalised with complaints of giddiness and epilepsy from Saturday night in Andhra Pradesh's Eluru town. One person lost his life due to the mystery illness.
The experts on Friday from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, AIIMS Mangalagiri, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) from Hyderabad including Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Hyderabad, National Centre for Disease Control and National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune joined the meeting via video conference.
AIIMS Delhi experts said that lead and nickel are not inconsiderable levels in drinking water samples and they are testing the samples again. Nickel traces have been found in the milk samples and the team is further analysing them. Traces of heavy metals such as lead and nickel have been found in blood samples of patients.
AIIMS Delhi has sent samples to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to find whether organochlorine (OC) pesticides are behind the illness.
IICT Hyderabad experts said that drinking water is clean. According to NIN Hyderabad experts, pesticides might be the reason behind the unknown illness.
Pesticide traces have been found in tomatoes by the IICT Hyderabad team. Mercury traces have been found in rice. Organophosphorus was traced in blood samples and it is yet to be identified by the team how it entered into the human bodies.
Institute of Preventive Medicine experts said that pesticide traces have been found in 19 water samples.
Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board officials said that the gases in the atmosphere are at a normal level only. Pesticide traces have been tested and results are yet to come.
NEERI Hyderabad experts said that that they have collected samples of ground water which yet to be tested and analysed.
The state government has formed a 21-member multidisciplinary committee, headed by state chief secretary, to probe the matter.
Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Alla Kalikrishna Srinivas, Medical and Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar, West Godavari District Collector Mutyala Raju participated in the meeting from Eluru.
Municipal Administration Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, MP V Balashouri, Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, Medical and Health Principal Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal, Agriculture Special CS Poonam Malakondaiah, and other officials participated in the video conference from Chief Minister camp office at Amaravati. (ANI)