More than 20 boarders of Bishop’s School, Ranchi, fell ill on Friday, apparently after drinking unfiltered water from campus taps for a prolonged period.
Seven of these boys — aged between 12 and 14 years — had to be admitted to a private hospital, where doctors diagnosed more than half with jaundice. While six have been sent home, one student is still under treatment.
Director of Gurunanak Hospital & Research Centre N.N. Agrawal said he could shed more light on the cause of illness only after reports of the children’s liver function tests arrived. “It does not appear to be a case of food poisoning. But, how jaundice hit so many boys at a time is rather intriguing,” he added.
Agrawal stressed on the need to test water samples from the school campus. “It is a concerning issue and needs to be handled carefully,” he said.
Principal S.K. Bright could not be contacted over phone. The security guard at the school gate said he had been ordered not to allow any soul inside. “Principal Madam is not talking to anybody on the matter, not even special branch officers,” he insisted.
A school employee, requesting anonymity, admitted that drinking water might be contaminated. She said some students had complained of uneasiness even after drinking from taps on Thursday. “Our water tank has not been cleaned for long. We have informed parents and several boarders have already left,” she added.
Bishop’s School was established in 1990. Though the cradle is co-ed, it offers boarding facility only for boys.