The number of children in Indonesia suffering from acute kidney failure after ingesting harmful substances in medical syrups has risen to 324, of which 195 have died, and 27 are still in the hospital.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health reported this on Monday.
The country has seen a spike in cases of acute renal failure since August, leading to an investigation and a blanket ban on the sale and prescription of syrups and liquid medicines.
“Most cases occur in children under the age of five,” Health Ministry spokesman Mohammad Syahril said at a news conference.
Tests showed that most deaths could be attributed to syrups contaminated with excessive amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol, two chemicals used in industrial products such as antifreeze, Syahril said.
Health authorities have imported 246 bottles of patient antidote, mostly from Singapore and Australia. The drugs have produced significant results, the health ministry said.
Police have launched an investigation into three local pharmaceutical companies. As a result, two of them have temporarily lost their license to produce medical syrups.