LAHORE, Dec 29: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has expressed grief over the loss of precious lives due to the syrup intake and ordered that all the stock of imported raw material being used in preparing the syrup and the manufactured syrup should immediately be seized and action be taken as per law against those responsible.

According to a handout, the chief minister directed sending immediately the samples of seized syrup for test abroad, saying further action would be taken after the report of the renowned UK lab.

The chief minister issued these directions while presiding over a meeting at Model Town here on Saturday in which the causes of deaths due to cough syrup in Gujranwala and Lahore were reviewed in detail.

Special Assistant on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique, MPA Rana Muhammad Iqbal, chief secretary, IGP, secretary health, Forensic Lab and Health director-general, Commissioner Gujranwala Division, Additional IG Special Branch and officers concerned were also present.

The Chief Minister’s Inspection Team chairman presented a report regarding deaths in Lahore.

Shahbaz said that samples of syrup obtained from patients were being sent abroad for analysis so that real facts could be surfaced and the responsible be determined.

He directed the chief secretary that all the stock of the imported raw material being used for the preparation of syrup and the manufactured syrup should immediately be confiscated and he should personally monitor the process. The chief minister said that calamities did occur but adopting preventive measures for the eradication of such incidents was our responsibility.

He said that an effective mechanism of checking of raw material and medicines was essential.

He said that the Health Department would have to play its effective role for checking such tragic incidents in future.

He said that there should be an effective system of check and balance from the process of preparation of medicines to their distribution.

Meanwhile, the health department has issued directions to EDOs (Health) of all districts and drug inspectors to confiscate the imported raw material being used to manufacture defective dextromethorphan cough syrup.

The step was taken on the order of the chief minister, said a handout issued here on Saturday.

The health department also directed them to seize all the stock of dextromethorphan cough syrup from their respective markets to avoid further loss of human lives.

Instructions have also been issued to ensure further sale of two suspected drugs, dextromethorphan and Tyno cough syrups, only on the prescriptions of doctors.

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