Authorities are investigating whether the hospitalisation of six people in the city of Rosario is linked to the contaminated cocaine tragedy that has already taken 24 lives.
Health officials in the Santa Fe Province city said in a statement that four people were hospitalised on Sunday afternoon in the south of Rosario "with sensory deterioration and respiratory depression." At around midnight another two patients arrived, all "with a history of substance use," it added.
Two of the patients are in serious condition and on life support.
"Some suffered convulsions and in the case of the critical patients they were intubated. We can't say for the moment with what substance the intoxication was cause by, we are waiting for the courts to intervene," Dr Silvia Marmiroli, Rosario's deputy health secretary told the TN news channel.
She said it was a question of "the consumption of various substances, according to what patients have said", including "alcohol and psychotropic drugs."
Before collapsing, the patients had taken drugs, their relatives told local media.
"My brother went with a friend to buy drugs in the Las Flores neighbourhood [in the south of Rosario] and then he started to feel sick, collapsed and fell to the ground," a relative called Gustavo told Crónica TV.
At least 24 people died last week after consuming contaminated cocaine. Twelve of them died at home, two on the street and the rest at health centres. In addition, more than 200 people were treated in hospitals, with around 20 still receiving treatment, according to officials.
Police are now investigating whether the six new cases in Rosario are linked to last week’s fatalities in Buenos Aires Province, where more than 20,000 packages of drugs were confiscated and a dozen people were arrested in a series of raids.
Initial testing on the drugs seized revealed that the cocaine was not cut with fentanyl, as suspected, Noticias Argentinas reported on Sunday.
Rosario is located 300 km northwest of Buenos Aires and is Argentina's third most populous city with 1.3 million inhabitants.
Authorities said Monday that an individual who allegedly sold the drugs to the six hospitalised victims in Rosario had been arrested.