GENEVA, April 11. /TASS/. About 500 people showing signs of chemical exposure requested medical assistance in the Syrian town of Douma after April 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement.
"According to reports from Health Cluster partners, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed," the statement reads.
A number of non-government organizations, including the White Helmets, allege that a chemical weapons attack took place in Eastern Ghouta’s town of Douma on April 7. In their April 8 statement, the White Helmets claimed that the attack had particularly involved chlorine-filled bombs. According to the White Helmets, dozens died in the attack, while 500 people "reached the medical centers with symptoms of exposure to chemicals."
The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the statement as a bogus story, while Russia’s Defense Ministry pointed out that the White Helmets were not a reliable source of information as they were known for spreading fabricated news.
On April 9, officers from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria visited Douma but did not find any traces of chemical weapons.
Russian officials many times warned about impending provocations and staged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
Russia and Syria invited experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit Douma in order to figure out what happened there. The OPCW has said that a special mission will be sent to Syria and requested Damascus to make necessary preparations.