A day after the 11 men from the Kalbadevi area in south Mumbai were rushed to hospital for suspected cholera, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an advisory.
It states that citizens should boil the water, drawn from wells, before drinking.
If they cannot boil the water, they must use chlorine tablets of which the BMC has a massive stock.
The number of patients has increased from 11 to 14, with three new patients being admitted on Friday.
Eleven have admitted to Kasturba Hospital, two to GT Hospital and one to Nair Hospital. “All 14 patients are people who live in the godown in the Ramnath Sadan building in Kalbadevi in the city’s C-ward,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
Virendra Jhadav (20) and Lalchand Verma (28), who were critical on Thursday in Kasturba Hospital, are recovering. “Their condition has improved,” said their friend Ramdarash Choudhary. The patients’ tissue culture reports which confirm cholera are still awaited.
Cholera is contracted by the consumption of contaminated water.
The men, who live in a godown, had been buying water from a handcart puller who got it from a well. Mhaiskar said: “We have outlined three possible sources of contamination that could have led to them contracting the vibrio cholerae virus.”
The three sources are the water-carts in which water was brought, the plastic drums in which it was stored and the well from which it was drawn.
The BMC had taken water samples from the three places and sent it for testing.
BMC Executive Health Officer Dr Jairaj Thanekar said the water was likely to have E-Coli bacteria, which causes cholera.
The men who live in the godown alleged that the civic body had not sent a water tanker despite the cholera cases. “We are still drinking the well water,” said Mumtaz Ali.
Mhaiskar said the well was closed and no one was allowed to draw water from the well anymore.