LAHORE: With over a hundred dead, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif finally revealed the cause behind the fatal drugs on Wednesday. “IsoTab was found to be adulterated with an anti-malarial.”
In a press conference held in Lahore, Sharif informed journalists that the drug – IsoTab – produced by Efroze Chemical Industries, was found to have 50mg of an anti-malaria content, which the patients were given every day.
“The dosage is 14-times greater than the prescribed dosage which is 25mg a week,” Sharif said.
He said that the Punjab government sent out samples to European labs in order to find out the cause of the deaths. “We not only sent out drug samples to European labs, but also sent human samples, including traces of bone marrow and skin.”
Sharif said an antidote was also formulated which could reverse the affect of the drug overdose. “Without wasting a second, doctors, paramedics, pharmacists and health secretary of Punjab started to work on the antidote.”
“Folinic Acid or Calcium Folinade has been found out to be the antidote, which is available in the form of injections,” said Sharif. “We have obtained this drug in large quantities and supplied it to the hospitals. And if necessary, we will even import this drug.”
He said that experts believed that this antidote will show a positive sign and will save a lot of lives. “Last night, the first dose of this antidote was given to the patients and now, the second dose is underway.”
The chief minister said that he sent out letters to the concerned officials of the federal government in this regard. “We stayed up all night long to make sure that we get a grip of the situation as soon as possible.”
“We have told them to seize the spurious drugs and get rid of them.”
Sharif said that the forensic results were also sent out to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by European labs and that it [WHO] would also do what it could in the situation.
The chief minister said that the forensic reports were submitted to the Supreme Court and the judicial commission investigating the matter. “There should be no doubts remaining now as we have cleared out everything. The matter should not be politicised.”
Sharif also called for an “unbiased” investigation in the matter.
He also informed the media that the factory in Karachi has been sealed by the inspector general of Sindh police.
On the other hand, Express News’ correspondent Aamir Farooq reported that the company has not been sealed yet. However, a team of Federal Investigation Agency along with officials of health department has reached there.
FIA Deputy Director Akbar Baloch said that the team will go inside the factory to talk to the management and added that media was not allowed to enter the premises at the moment.
Farooq reported that there were chances that the company will be sealed after the discussion between FIA’s team and the management of Efroze Chemical Industries is ended.
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