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Mumbai: 'She vomited blood,' school girl's grief-stricken parents blame blue tablet; panic in Govandi

Aug 10 (AZINS) It was just another Friday for Chandani Sheikh. Feeling bit drowsy, the 12-year-old was getting ready for school when suddenly she started vomiting blood.

Her father Shahid Sheikh rushed her to the nearby hospital where she was declared ‘brought dead’.

The news of 12-year-old’s death spread like a wildfire in the Mumbai’s Govandi area. Soon, around 350 children from three Urdu-medium municipal schools were taken to the Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar after their parents heard about death of the class 6 student.

While the 12-year-old’s parents claim that she died due to iron tablets consumed at the school on Monday, it is yet to be proven by the postmortem report.

“She vomited blood in the morning. She had consumed iron and folic acid tablet on Monday since then she was unwell. She was not undergoing any other medical treatment,” Chandani’s father told DNA.

The panic-stricken parents started admitting their children to the hospital with the complaints of vomiting, nausea and body pain. While most of them have been discharged now, 17 children are still under medical supervision at the hospital.

“While my daughters complained about stomach pain, I rushed them to the hospital,” one Zeenat Shaikh said. According to the BMC, iron tablets are given to the students once in a week, which was also given to Chandani.

According to the clinical examination, none of the students showed any symptoms of tablet’s side-effect.

On Friday, due to the occasion of Nation Deworming Day, the students across the state were given deworming tablets. Dr Padmaja Keskar, BMC executive health officer, said, “On August 10, every year students are given deworming tablets. These tablets were distributed in two of the Urdu municipal schools in Govandi but we stopped the distribution in the school where Chandani studied.”

Other students were taken to the hospital as a panic situation after consuming deworming tablets on Friday. According to the hospital authority, none of the children showed any symptoms of tablet side-effects. “I am not facing any issue. My parents brought me to the hospital,” said Sahnawaz Mohammed, class two student.

Another student, Sahil Sayed, class 5 student, said, “I consumed a white tablet today. I was feeling like vomiting.”

Archana Bhalerao, a member of BMC’s Health Committee, said, “There is a difference between feeling and showing symptoms. None of the children admitted in the hospital showed any symptoms. All are in stable condition and fit to go home. We are waiting for postmortem report of Chandani. The death created fear in the mind.”

The BMC education department has denied the allegations claiming she consumed tablet on Monday and attended school on Wednesday and Thursday hence reaction of a tablet cannot happen after so many days.

Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer said, “If she was affected due to an iron tablet then other students could have also got affected. But other students did not complain. We cannot say her death has happened due to that iron tablet. Providing iron tablet is a government program.” Palkar visited the school after knowing about the incident. He added, “Till the post-mortem report is released the tablets will not be given. We will continue if a tablet is not the cause of death. The medicine is given to boost immunity of government school children and because many are found anemic.”

There was huge police protection from Shivaji Nagar Police station inside the school. The police officials seized all the medicines that were present in the school.