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Tablets linked to the deaths of more than a dozen women at a "sterilisation camp" in India are likely to have contained a chemical compound commonly used in rat poison, a senior official said.
Siddhartha Pardeshi, chief administrator for the Bilaspur district, told Reuters preliminary tests of the antibiotic ciprocin tablets were found to contain zinc phosphide.
Samples have now been sent to laboratories in Delhi and Kolkata to verify that they were contaminated.
"But, this is what we anticipate. Symptoms shown by the patients also conform with zinc phosphide (poisoning)," Mr Pardeshi said.
At least 15 women have now died but more possible victims arrived at hospitals on Thursday and Friday after complaining of vomiting, dizziness and swelling, hospitals officials said.
The state government has seized 200,000 tablets of Ciprocin 500 and over 4 million other tablets.
Police have arrested doctor Ramesh Mahawar, whose firm manufactured the drugs, and his son. The pair claim they are innocent and are victims of a set up.
Dr RK Gupta has said his supply of post-op drugs was contaminated after being arrested for the deaths of 13 women in a mass sterilisation.Read the full story ›
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma has hit a new world record one-day international score.
Sharma, 27, reached 264 against Sri Lanka on Thursday, breaking Virander Sehwag's previous record of 219 with a six, but was dismissed off the last ball of the innings.
It is the second double century the Nagpur-born opener has struck in the 50-over format in recent times, having plundered 210 against Australia last year.
The top four one-day international scores in history are all held by Indians, with Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag sitting in second and fourth, respectively.
The doctor whose sterilisation of 83 women ended in at least 12 deaths said he has been made a scapegoat and said the government was responsible for the tragedy.
Dr R K Gupta told Reuters his equipment was rusty or dirty and claimed it was the government's duty to control the number of people that turned up at his "sterilisation camp".
Speaking at a police station where he is being held in custody, Gupta said:
I am not the culprit. I have been made scapegoat. It is the administration which is responsible for this incident.
If they kept in that place 83 women, it is my moral responsibility to operate [on] all the women.
If I decline to do that I would have faced public agitation.
A doctor has been arrested in India following the deaths of at least 12 women who underwent surgery as part of a government-run sterilisation programme, The Times of India reported.
Dr RK Gupta and his assistant carried out tubectomies on 83 women at a sterilisation camp in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
Police have accused Gupta of causing death by negligence and filed a case against him in the district of Bilaspur.
Women who survived a botched mass sterilisation in India which left 12 others dead have told ITV News what they think went wrong.Read the full story ›
The number of women who have died following operations by a medical team using unsanitary surgical equipment at a mass-sterilisation camp in India has risen to 13.
The women, among more than 80 to undergo surgery, fell ill at a so-called family planning camp at a village in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Such camps are held regularly in India as part of a long-running effort to control its booming population.
The cause of the deaths was not immediately clear, but officials said the victims showed signs of toxic shock, possibly because of dirty surgical equipment or contaminated medicines.
Senior local government official Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi told Reuters:
Preliminary reports show that the medicines administered were spurious and also the equipment used was rusted.