China calls for water checks after 200 fall ill

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has ordered quality checks on barreled water around the country after polluted water made more than 200 people sick, newspapers said on Tuesday.

The victims, all from the southwestern province of Guizhou, fell ill with hepatitis A in the last few weeks, the Beijing News said.

“The source of the water was heavily polluted and its production lacked strict sterilization,” the newspaper said, citing the Ministry of Health.

“The ministry has asked related authorities to immediately start inspection to check the quality of barreled water around the country,” the Beijing Youth Daily said.

State media said last year that China would attach electronic identification labels to every barrel of drinking water in Beijing after a report that almost half the water used in coolers in the Olympics host city could be tainted.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie