At least 20 people died and another 49 people are hospitalized after using adulterated cocaine around Buenos Aires, official sources said Thursday.
After learning about the case on Wednesday, the provincial authorities continued during the early hours of today with searches and seizures of drugs in the Buenos Aires town of San Martín, as explained to the press by the Minister of Security of the province of Buenos Aires, Sergio Berni.
The minister said that 7,000 doses were added to the seizures of 5,600 doses made on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, he indicated that they have “advanced” with the “arrest” of the gang in the San Martín area that is dedicated to the sale of this drug “with its leaders included.”
Since noon on Wednesday, the Police of the province of Buenos Aires deployed operations in the municipality of Tres de Febrero, northwest of the capital, in which they arrested ten people and confiscated several wrappers to be analyzed that were similar to those found in the first victims.
According to police sources cited by local media, one of the intoxicated admitted that he had bought the drug in the vicinity of “Puerta 8”, a slum located in Tres de Febrero and where police operations are being carried out.
The health authorities of the province of Buenos Aires issued an epidemiological alert to all its hospitals on Wednesday after the series of fatal and serious cases due to the consumption of the poisoned drug.
They also issued an unprecedented statement of alert for those who had acquired cocaine in the last 24 hours so that they do not consume it or go to a health center if they ingested it and suffer symptoms.
The component that was added to cocaine has not yet been identified, Berni said, but it is understood that it may be some type of opioid from the response to Naloxone treatment in hospitals.
The provincial Ministry of Health constituted an emergency committee to follow the evolution of the cases and in coordination with the toxicology services of the Buenos Aires network that was operational throughout the morning and the distribution of medicines was reinforced, two mobile intensive care units were added for the transfer system.