21 Nov 2006
MOSCOW, November 20 (Itar-Tass) --Russian citizens have been poisoned with surrogate alcohol purposefully, Head Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko told journalists on Monday, commenting on incidents of mass surrogate alcohol poisoning in Russia.
"The unfortunate citizens of this country are deliberately "colored" by chemical substances that are added in immeasurable quantities to technical spirits," Onishchenko said. He called for establishing state-run alcohol policy in Russia, saying departure from the adopted laws was impermissible.
"Technical spirits should be leveled up with drinking spirits in terms of licensing and charging excise tax, besides, it is necessary to treat some 2.5 million alcohol addicts in Russia, but regrettably, no one attends to that problem," Onishchenko said.
Since the end of September the number of poisoned victims in the Irkutsk region in Southern Siberia rose to 2, 467, including 82 lethal cases. At present, a total of 1, 221 people diagnosed with toxic hepatitis are undergoing hospital treatment in the Irkutsk region, where an emergency regime remains in force in a number of towns. A total of 60 tons of illicit spirit- containing liquid were burnt on wasteland in the Irkutsk region on Sunday according to the instructions by Irkutsk regional Governor Alexander Tishanin.
The administration of the Chita region continues a campaign against illegal alcohol sale. The administration has opened a hot telephone line for the population to report about places where surrogate alcohol is sold despite the ban and places authorized for alcohol sale, but where illicit surrogate alcohol was found. A total of 126 tons of alcohol and liquids containing spirits have been confiscated in the Chita region this year. The death toll from alcohol poisoning rose to 400 there, and more than 800 criminal cases were opened.
The statistics of alcohol poisoning in the Belgorod region in central Russia numbers 970 cases after four more victims from the town of Gubkin were added to the sad list over the past 24 hours.
Twelve lethal cases caused by alcohol poisoning have been reported in the Volgograd region over the past month, a total of 507 people diagnosed with toxic hepatitis remain on hospital beds yet. The regional prosecutor's office said that 180,000 liters of confiscated alcohol removed from shops were missing from a warehouse intended for the arrested surrogate stuff. An investigation continues.