HOHHOT: Altogether 2,622 people have sought medication for gastrointestinal illness after the tap water supply was contaminated by rainfall Saturday in Chifeng City of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the local health authority said Wednesday.
In the 24 hours from 5:30 p.m. Monday and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1,112 new cases were reported. As of Tuesday night, 59 people were hospitalized for medical observation, a spokesman with the city's health department said.
The patients, from eight downtown communities in Chifeng, complained of fever, diarrhea, stomachache and vomiting after drinking tap water at home Saturday and Sunday.
The local government offered free medication for all the victims starting on Monday.
On Monday night, a government official blamed the pollution on heavy rainfall of July 23, saying it raised the city's water level and caused water from a nearby lake to flow into a well of the water supply system.
The contaminated well provides tap water for Chifeng's "new city center", a 17-square km area with a population of 58,000, said Zheng Fengjun, an official of Yulong Community.