Mass Poisoning of More Than 100 People in Jordan Puts Health Staff on High Alert

Amman, April 20 (QNA) – Some 108 people afflicted with food poisoning
were admitted to a hospital in the northern Jordan Valley, the matter
which put the Ministry of Health’s staff on high alert , a press
release the ministry issued Sunday said .

Dr. Ahmad Qteitat, director of the ministry’s Department of
Hospital Management, told Petra that all the patients, including
children, women and men from various age groups, fell ill after
eating contaminated homos and falafel, two traditional diet staples,
from an eatery in the town of Waqas.

He said a consignment of the food was taken for lab analysis “to
find out the reasons behind the mass poisoning.” Dr. Abdul Jalil
Meqdadi, director of the Muaz Bin Jabal Hospital, where the patients
had been admitted, said most of them were discharged, but 14,
including five children, four women and five men, were still under
treatment at the hospital.
Health minister Ali Heyasat announced as he visited the patients
that there were no serious cases, adding that a consignment of the
food was taken for lab tests and that “the results will be available
after 48-72 hours.” Authorities had shut down the popular restaurant
and its owner was arrested “as a precautionary measure,” said local
governor Adnan Atoum, adding that a panel had been assigned to
investigate the mass poisoning.

Local citizens, meanwhile, urged health authorities to introduce
strict monitoring of eateries, especially with the advent of summer
and rising temperatures, and also demanded lab tests of drinking
water and repair of the damaged water network.(QNA)

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