Contaminated food downs Mati athletes

DAVAO CITY — A day before the formal opening of the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) meet, 37 students, coaches and kitchen staff were rushed to the hospital after experiencing symptoms of food poisoning.

The city government confirmed the incident on Saturday night through the City Information Office (CIO) that affected at least 33 student delegates to the DAVRAA 2018, three coaches and a kitchen staff.

They were rushed to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) after experiencing stomach pains and vomiting.

Chief Information officer Jefry Tupas said the city government has extended needed assistance to the affected delegates and were brought to the hospital for proper medical attention.

Based on the initial report, Tupas said the affected delegates and coaches had dinner that was procured, prepared, and served by the Mati contingent managers.

The Mati delegates are billeted at the Sta Ana school. Standby medical teams from Central 911 brought the delegates to the hospital for proper medical attention with Assistant City Administrator for Operations Lawrence Bantiding, who was in the hospital to oversee the situation. Bantiding is the overall in-charge of the DAVRAA preparations.

The delegates pointed to corned beef and beef soup served during Saturday lunch. The incident is under investigation and all responsible parties will be made accountable.

Despite this, Tupas said, the affected athletes will be able to compete during the sporting event.

This was based on the assessment of the attending physicians and officials from the City Health Office.

Tupas said city officials are monitoring the condition of the delegates and undertaking preventive measures to ensure it would not happen again.

This food poisoning incident is now being investigated and all responsible parties will be made accountable. DAVRAA 2018 is formally opening Sunday afternoon at the UM Matina where over 5,000 athletes from cities and municipalities of five provinces will be competing in 21 disciplines.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will lead the ceremony to welcome all the delegates. Also invited to the regional meet were President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Manny Pacquiao while local chief executives are expected to provide support to their respective delegations.

Michael Denton Aportadera, the head of the City Sports Office, announced the city government is ready for the opening and has addressed the needs of the athletes from billeting quarters, which have been provided with water tanks and bleeders.

Athletes and other delegates have been informed about the laws currently in effect in the city such as the anti-jaywalking, no smoking in public places, and curfew on minors, among others.

DAVRAA will run from February 18 to 23.