Food poisoning downs 231 in Pasig celebration of Imelda Marcos’ 90th birthday

By Jan Carlo Anolin

Around 231 people were rushed to the hospital in Pasig City Wednesday after reportedly suffering from food poisoning during the celebration of former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ 90th birthday.

Rescue team carries an old woman Wednesday afternoon, July 3, 2019, who was a victim of suspected food poisoning during an event at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)
Rescue team carries an old woman Wednesday afternoon, July 3, 2019, who was a victim of suspected food poisoning during an event at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)

Reports reached radio DZMM at around 11 a.m. Wednesday saying that the celebration was held at the Ynares Sports Center and was attended by around 2,500 guests.

As of 3 p.m., the Pasig City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said a total of 231 individuals were hospitalized and still expecting the number to rise. Initial reports said around 60 were rushed to the hospital.

Oranbo barangay captain Richard Pua said packed lunch of “adobo” dish with potatoes and hard-boiled eggs were served to the guests.

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) responded to the incident with eight ambulances, transported 14 individuals to Rizal Medical Center, and conducted blood pressure monitoring to 25 others. PRC also gave first aid to 127 people who experienced symptoms of food poisoning.

The victims showed food poisoning symptoms such as vomiting and stomach pain. Pua said the organizers, which have yet to be named, served the food.

But it was learned that the food were contributed by various supporters and donors of the Marcos family.

Pasig police chief P/Col Rizalito Gapas said the police have yet to determine which specific dish caused the suspected poisoning.

Meanwhile, Senator Imee Marcos, who attended the event, told the audience that they will look after the victims and will visit those who were hospitalized.

The celebration still pushed through despite the incident. The concert was off-limits to the media.

An investigation is still ongoing. (with reports from Jel Santos)

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