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Another patient dies in Tiruchi

By Our Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI, SEPT. 8. The number of deaths due to consumption of Diethyl Carbamazine Citrate (DEC) tablets as per official records increased to three today following the post-mortem of Srirangan (70) of Ponmalai, who was brought dead to the K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College Hospital here. Thangam (90) of Srirangam and Velu (65) of Khajamalai died yesterday.

The first information report of the police states that Srirangan had died after consuming DEC tablets. However, ``opinion has been reserved'' in his case as in the case of two other victims and also of Palayee (66) of Ponmalai, who is also said to have died after consuming the DEC tablets. But her name was not included in the list of the victims since her body was reportedly cremated without police's knowledge.

Six aged persons — Chinnammal, Ganapathy, Govindaraj, Swaminathan, Parthasarathy and Sowriamma — are in the intensive care unit and 15 others in the general ward. While the condition of Chinnammal, who has been in the ICU for the past couple of days, remains critical, the other five were referred today from the general ward. In the case of Sowriamma of Lalgudi, the local hospital records state that she had consumed the tablets despite having a history of heart disease, high blood pressure and neurological problems.

One among the three admitted yesterday, Savarimuthu, who reportedly confessed to having consumed nine tablets, and was absconding today, was removed from the list of patients. Hospital authorities suspect that he could have attempted suicide.

Meanwhile, responding to the request of the State Health Secretary, a team from the Pondicherry-based Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC) visited the hospital to collect blood samples of all the patients.

A 65-year-old woman, C. Santhanam of Keelakavattankurichi near Ariyalur in Perambalur district, who reportedly consumed the DEC tablets on September 4, died today in her residence. After taking the tablets, she was said to have complained of giddiness and was admitted to a private clinic. The doctors there, according to sources, had referred her to the Thanjavur Medical College Hospital. However, her relatives took her home, yesterday.

Health officials, who visited the village, however, said the woman died of congestive cardiac failure. No case was registered, sources added.

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