Hundreds of people in several towns in Surigao del Sur were reported to have suffered from dizziness and vomiting after they allegedly fell victim to durian candy poisoning. According to the Cagwait municipality Public Information Office (PIO), hundreds were rushed to the hospital on July 10 after they consumed durian candy that were sold in the streets.
Information Officer Rogen Tabugoc said that the most of the victims bought the said candies at 10am, which is the recess time for most students. A lot of them bought durian candies because they were sold at a cheap price. Among the victims of the alleged durian candy poisoning was Tabugoc’s own daughter who is a student of Cagwait Central Elementary School.
Tabugoc also reported in Tagalog, “My wife told me that the town’s in chaos. There are almost no vehicles left to transport victims. My twelve year-old daughter has been sent to the hospital. They said that the hospital and health centers are already full.”
In Cagwait Central Elementary School alone, 40 students were brought to the hospital for suspected case of durian candy poisoning. It has yet to be determined if it was the candy that downed the victims.
In the meantime, local authorities have already acted on the incident, putting most of the vendors of the durian candy under custody. They are being held as of presstime for questioning.
Similar cases of food poisoning in the nearby towns of Lianga, San Agustin, Tago, and Marihatag, as well as Tandag City were also reported to the authorities.
Among the schools whose students fell victim to the alleged durian candy poisoning are Aras-asan Elementary School, Unidad Elementary School, Unidad National High School, and Surigao del Sur State University.
No deaths from the said incident has so far been reported by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).