Navi Mumbai: Sunday night jalebis land 36 nursing students in hospital

The students were admitted to MGM Hospital after they suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea on Sunday; hospital says they have gastroenteritis and not food poisoning

Last weekend was gastronomically disastrous for 36 girls from a Navi Mumbai based nursing college, who were admitted at the Mahatma Gandhi Mission (MGM) hospital on Monday morning, after they suffered vomiting and diarrhoea late Sunday night. While 15 students were discharged on Monday itself, the remaining are undergoing treatment. The hospital authorities claim the girls are showing symptoms of gastroenteritis and not food poisoning.

While 15 of the 36 students were discharged on Monday, the rest are undergoing treatment
While 15 of the 36 students were discharged on Monday, the rest are undergoing treatment

All the girls are students of MGM’s New Bombay College of Nursing and reside in the college hostel, which is located in the hospital premises. The incident took place on Monday morning. But the authorities informed the police on Tuesday, who further informed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Speaking to mid-day Revathy C (18), a first year nursing student said, “On Sunday night we had rice, chapati and dal along with jalebi from the college mess.” Incidentally, after 3 am she and her roommates started vomiting. Few others suffered headaches and abdominal pain with diarrhoea. Revathy said they pay R2,200 per month for two meals at the college mess, which is the common canteen of the hostel and the hospital.

Ashna M John (18) another first year student, who was among those who also fell ill said that she and five of her roommates started exhibiting vomiting and diarrhoea symptoms after midnight. “It started at 1 am. In morning at around 9 am, we informed the warden in the hostel and accordingly, we were then shifted to the hospital for further treatment.” John, said they pay an annual rent of R30,000 for the hostel.

Ate canteen food twice
The students claimed they ate twice from the canteen on Sunday. Mansi Patil and Aarti Patil who reside in the hostel and are first year students, stated that all the nursing students from the first to fourth years – which is more than 100 students – had gone for a picnic on Saturday at the Royal Water Park in Thane. “On Saturday we went for picnic at the park and had food at the park, while Sunday there was no outing and we were at the hostel,” added Mansi Patil.

When, mid-day visited the hospital, cops from the Kamothe police station were busy taking the statements of the nursing patients. The police said that the incident took place on Monday, but they were informed about it on Tuesday morning.

“We came to know about the incident on Tuesday morning, after we reached the hospital and took the statement of around 24 students who were admitted on Tuesday. Accordingly, we also informed the FDA department. We found that the patients are stable and have started our investigation. The FDA officials will send us a report and on the basis of the report, legal action will be taken against anyone who is found guilty,” said Mamta D’souza, Senior Police Inspector, Kamothe police station.

KR Salgotra, Medical Superintendent of Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital in Kamothe confirmed that around 36 students suffered vomiting and diarrhoea on Monday morning. And most of them were discharge on the same day, while around 24 are under observation.

“It’s a case where we have found symptoms of gastroenteritis among the students, where a few were vomiting and others suffered diarrhoea. Most of them have been discharged. Also, we have initiated a primary inquiry in the case, with myself, the nursing doctor head and a doctor on the panel,” added Salgotra.

After the Kamothe police informed the FDA officials on Tuesday morning, Balaji Shinde and SN Jagtap, food inspectors from FDA’s Raigad Unit visited the hospital in the afternoon and took statements of the victims.

“We have taken the statement of the nursing students who have been admitted in the hospital. We have found that the girls visited a park in Thane on Saturday, where they had some food, while on Sunday they had two meals in the mess. We have taken the sample of the vomiting since any kind of food affects the digestive system till 72 hours. So, we are further checking if they were affected by the food from the park or from the mess they regularly eat at,” said Balaji Shinde.

He added, “Accordingly, we will send a report to the police. We will also check the condition of the mess where the food is being cooked and will take action if it is found in a bad condition.” Shinde further said, “We have also given a letter to the hospital authorities for not informing us about the case, as we were informed by the police. Usually, in such cases, the authorities should inform the FDA department, who can investigate accordingly.”

mid-day also visited the canteen and found several students and staff busy eating food. Ajit Singh, the assistant manager of the canteen, he said, “The students fell ill as they ate the food a day before, during a picnic. More than 500 people ate the food that was cooked at our mess on Sunday night. If that were the case, then all of us would have fallen ill. The canteen is owned by the hospital management and for further details you can have a word with the dean.”

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