The decision was sequel to deaths in Rivers and Ondo states due to food poisoning allegedly caused by the consumption of local gin.
The government however confirmed that the death toll in Rivers State had risen to 38 and 18 in Ode-Irele, Ondo State, following the consumption of local gin.
The Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Dr. Paul Orhii, in his reaction to the death of 38 persons in Rivers State, told journalists that the recent incidents in the state and that of Ode-Irele, in Ondo State were associated with the consumption of locally made gin.
According to him, considering the risk in the consumption of locally made gin, it has become imperative to “warn the public to desist from the consumption of unregistered locally made spirits (Ogogoro) and other unregistered bitters.”
Orhii also warned that government “would confiscate all illegally brewed alcoholic beverages” across the country.
The NAFDAC boss also recommended “immediate reporting and evacuation to the nearest tertiary health institution as quick intervention can save lives.”
He said the NAFDAC team me with the Ondo State Commissioner for Health and Director of Diagnostic Services and an official of the World Health Organisation, who visited Ode-Irele to obtain first hand information.
He added, “A preliminary investigation by the National Centre for Disease Control and WHO, ruled out any infectious diseases and confirmed the possibility of poisoning as the cause and in turn advised NAFDAC to conduct further investigation.
“The symptoms suffered by victims included vomiting, abdominal pain, blurred vision, headache, dizziness and loss of consciousness with subsequent sudden deaths of 18 victims.”
Orhii, who was joined by the Director of NCDC, Prof. Abdulrahman Nasidi, explained that all indications showed that “these symptoms are the hallmark signs of methanol poisoning.”