36 athletes, coaches fall ill due to food poisoning in Davao
DAVAO CITY – At least 33 athletes and three coaches were rushed to various hospitals here after being downed purportedly by contaminated food on Saturday.
City assistant administrator Lawrence Bantiding said that the food poisoning incident affected athletes from the Mati City contingent.
He also clarified that the food served to the affected athletes was prepared by cooks brought in by the Mati contingent, and was not prepared by the city government – which currently hosts athletes for the weeklong Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) meet, which started on Sunday.
“The affected delegates and coaches had dinner that was procured, prepared, and served by the Mati contingent managers,” Bantiding noted.
He said the Mati athletes suffered nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains; and were rushed to the hospital by standby medical teams from the Central 911.
“Per assessment of the attending physicians and officials from the City Health Office, all affected delegates will be able to compete during the sporting events,” Bantiding also said.
According to the city official, the incident prompted the city government to strictly monitor food being served to the athletes, such as ensuring that the preparations were done in a clean environment.
“This food poisoning incident is now being investigated and all responsible parties will be made accountable,” Bantiding warned.
Michael Denton Aportadera, the head of the city sports office, said that aside from clean food, the city government also wanted to ensure that the athletes from across the four Davao provinces and Compostela Valley would have clean water.
He disclosed that water tanks and bleeders to accommodate the high water demand of the athletes during the athletic event had been installed in strategic locations.
He said that leaflets were also distributed to inform athletes about the laws bring implemented in the city, such as, among others, the anti-smoking and anti-jaywalking ordinances.
“The City provided all the needed logistics for the week-long activity,” Aportadera said, without citing figures on how much budget had been appropriated for the Davraa.
He said that the city’s hosting of the 2018 Davraa was in preparation for the 2019 Palarong Pambansa, which the city government also wants to be held here.
“On the 28th, I will fly to Luzon to officially bid for the 2019 Palarong Pambansa. The hosting of Davraa is one of the requirements before we can bid,” Aportadera said. /kga
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