Toxic cough syrup is being blamed for killing 16 people in Pakistan as police scramble to find the source of the tainted medicine.
Police pointed to the toxic cough syrup on Monday after two additional victims died in a hospital. As The Associated Press reported, the people affected by the tainted cough syrup were drug addicts who appeared to be drinking it to get high.
The victims died in various hospitals near the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore in the past three days, and two more victims of the poisoned cough syrup are still being treated at the main hospital in the city.
Police arrested three drug store owners where the toxic cough syrup was sold, and said they were testing it to find out why it was poisoned.
Radio Free Europe reported that local pharmacies were also closed after the outbreak of the toxic cough syrup in Lahore. Police were raiding the pharmacies in an attempt to find the source of the toxic cough syrup.
Officials in the Punjab Province called together a special committee on Monday to investigate the cough syrup.
The outbreak of the toxic cough syrup was first noticed on November 23, when deaths started occurring in the low-income neighborhood of Shahdra Town. Several victims, between the ages of 15 and 45, started to feel sick after drinking the cough syrup, with many of them being sent to area hospitals. There many of the victims began to die.
The toxic cough syrup is not the first instance of tainted medicine in Lahore. In January close to 100 heart patients died after using locally produced medicine that had been tainted.