At least 41 people were reported this evening, Monday, to have now died from drinking contaminated alcohol. One report put the figure at 46. The number of cases that have been admitted to Tripoli’s hospitals is also now put at 476. Victims are being treated at hospitals throughout the capital as well as outside it.
“It’s a disaster there,” reported one visitor to Tripoli Central Hospital.
Doctors there say that there are not enough beds in the emergency room to deal with the number of patients arriving.
“It’s the first experience of a disaster like this,” a doctor at the hospital told the Libya Herald. “We’re not trained to deal with a situation like this. The hospital does not have the capacity for such a large number coming.”
Patients, he said, were still arriving.
All the medical teams, doctors and nurses were working hard, he said. Some had not not slept for 24 hours. “Most of the patients are in very bad condition.
The problem was that that their kidneys had been damaged, he explained. Some are being treated at the hospital. Others who could be moved were being sent to the kidney clinic in Zahra, on the way to Zawia.
At least 13 victims were reported earlier this evening have been sent to Tunisia for treatment.
Worryingly, the doctor claimed that the mass poisoning was not from one batch of contaminated alcohol. “These poison cases are not coming just from one source. There is more than one source,” he stated.
If so, it suggests there could be many more cases in the next couple of days. This is already Libya’s biggest case of mass poisoning.
Speaking earlier during the day when the death toll was put at 36 and with 370 cases admitted to hospital, Health Minister Nurideen Doghman said that a crisis committee had been formed and a state of emergency declared at all hospitals and health centres in the country.
Respirators had been bought to meet shortages in hospitals while dialysis centres were working continuously, he said.
He added that two girls as well an Algerian were among those who had died.
In a statement, the National Security Directorate in Tripoli, part of the Interior Ministry, said earlier today that an investigation into the mass poisoning had been launched by the Criminal Investigations Directorate.