Chinese authorities have revised upwards the figures for those affected by contaminated baby milk as anxious parents crowd outside hospitals for news.
Over 54,000 children have been made ill by the milk products, and nearly 13,000 of them have been hospitalised, with 100 in a serious condition. Four babies have already died.
The Chinese press is up in arms over the scandal, the latest bad publicity for the “made in China” brand.
“Most Chinese families now have only one child, so it’s natural we are so worried. Honestly, it costs a lot to raise just one child, it’s not easy. Although mine doesn’t show any symptoms, I’m still worried. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe,” said one mother.
The prime minister has been appearing on television visiting hospitals and promising the severest penalties for those responsible.
Inspection teams have been despatched to root out contaminated products from the shelves but it’s not just consumers feeling the pain. There are reports of farmers throwing away milk and killing cattle because of a collapse in demand for their products.