306 still in hospital due to suspected food poisoning from Imelda Marcos' birthday event
An elderly woman is brought out of the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City where hundreds fell ill due to alleged food poisoning on the celebration of former First Lady Imelda Marcos' 90th birthday celebration.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
306 still in hospital due to suspected food poisoning from Imelda Marcos' birthday event
(Philstar.com) - July 3, 2019 - 9:58pm

MANILA, Philippines — More than 300 remain in the hospital due to suspected food poisoning in the 90th birthday celebration of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told CNN Philippine’s “New Day” on Thursday that as of their latest count, 306 are still admitted in the hospital.

In a phone interview, Duque said 149 have been discharged while the rest are still under observation or admitted in the hospital.

The health chief said that symptoms point to contamination of food, but explained that according to the Rizal Medical Center, release of the results of the examination of the food sample would take 48 hours.

“We’re waiting until end of the day tomorrow [Friday],” he added.

Marcos, a graft convict, celebrated her 90th birthday with her family and loyalists on Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Complex in Pasig City.

RELATED: WATCH: 'Food poisoning' downs dozens after attending 90th birthday of Imelda Marcos

However, the celebration was cut short for the hundreds who were rushed to the hospital, while the merriment continued for the former first lady and some of her guests.

The Philippine Red Cross past noon said it sent eight ambulances to respond to the “food poisoning” emergency at the Ynares Sports Complex.

Duque said the contamination of the food could be due to poor preparation or due to the lapse in the time of serving.

“If [the food] waited on the sides or extended period of time, then you’ll expect that food gets spoiled,” he added.

Lawyer Larry Gadon, who attended the event, said that Marcos was initially unaware of what happened to some of her guests. — Kristine Joy Patag

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