191 residents of UAE tower show 'poisoning signs' after tap water turns yellow

 

191 residents of UAE tower show poisoning signs after tap water turns yellow
(Representational image)

Ajman - Tenants who couldn't afford treatment or didn't have insurance coverage have been offered free treatment.

by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sun 9 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jun 2019, 8:59 AM

One hundred and ninety-one people - including families, children and seniors, who all live at Horizon towers in Ajman - have been rushed to hospitals over the weekend. And all of them showed similar "poisoining symptoms" that were suspected to have been caused by "water contamination" in their building, according to Ajman Medical Zone (AMZ).

Hamad Triam Al Shamsi, director of AMZ, told Khaleej Times that they received reports from different hospitals, stating that they have 191 patients with symptoms of poisoning. Eight of them have been admitted to ICUs upon their arrival due to severe dehydration, but their conditions have stabilised and they are expected to be discharged on Monday.
The AMZ has been doing their rounds at the hospitals to investigate the cases and ensure all patients are provided with appropriate treatment. Most cases were considered minor and several patients got discharged on the same day. No death has been reported.

'Tap water turned yellow'

Tenants of the towers all believe that their tap water - which they used for bathing, washing dishes and utensils, and brushing their teeth - was the culprit.
They said that over the weekend, they started smelling foul odour as if their tap water "was coming from the sewage". And all of a sudden, the "water from their faucets turned yellow".
 
 
 
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The next day, several tenants of the four-block tower fell sick and were rushed to different hospitals. They showed similar symptoms, such as vomiting, fever, and diarrhoea.
Prateek Talukdar, a resident of the building, had to rush his entire family to the hospital. His wife, six-year-old twins, and a seven-month-old son all got sick.
"We never drank the water, but we used it for cleaning and other purposes," he said.
Talukdar said he was thankful that his family are all okay now and they got discharged on Sunday. He said they would be staying at a hotel until the issue gets resolved.
The Ajman Municipality has ordered the building's management to hire a company that would empty and clean up their water tanks. The water supply has been totally cut and will be restored only when tests show that it is fit for human use, an official told Khaleej Times. The civic body's team has also taken some water samples for testing,  as part of the investigation.
Sajeesh, another tenant, said he, his wife and two-year-old kid Laksha  all fell sick at the same time.
"My daughter swallowed the water while brushing her teeth, so her condition got worse rapidly and we had to rush her to Thumbay Hospital," he said.
The girl had to stay at the hospital for two days. The couple, on the other hand, had been affected due to the stench, he said.
Dr Isam Suliman, director of medical affairs at Thumbay Hospital, said they received a total of 75 patients from the building, including five who are still at the ICU.
He said the patients who were "seriously affected" were children between two and seven years old.
The rest of the patients received the necessary treatments and were discharge on the same day.

Free treatment

Tenants who couldn't afford treatment or didn't have insurance coverage have been offered free treatment at the Khalifa Hospital, according to the AMZ.
The Ajman Police said they are standing by for official complaints from tenants.
They urged residents to report the case and submit their medical test results at Al Madina Police Station.
afkarali@khaleejtimes.com



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