Minister: 506 victims of toxic fumes recorded today in Johor

The scene where about 100 school students, believed to have breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes, being temporarily placed for health monitoring at the Taman Pasir Putih multipurpose hall in Pasir Gudang. — Picture by Ben Tan
The scene where about 100 school students, believed to have breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes, being temporarily placed for health monitoring at the Taman Pasir Putih multipurpose hall in Pasir Gudang. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, March 13 — A total of 506 victims of toxic fumes were recorded to have sought medical treatment today following the dumping of toxic waste into Sungai Kim Kim, near Pasir Gudang here, last Thursday.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said of the total, 166 were currently receiving treatment in normal wards, while nine others, in the intensive care unit.

However, the minister did not offer the details of the patients.

Dr Dzulkefly, who had earlier attended the special meeting of the State Disaster Management Committee chaired by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, also refuted the viral report that a student had died due to the chemical pollution in Pasir Gudang.

“I want to stress that the viral report about the death of a victim is not true. There is no death,” he told a press conference at the State Disaster Management Operation Centre here today.

Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly also advised members of the public, especially those living in Pasir Gudang, to take preventive measures by wearing R95-type mask at all time and to avoid outdoor activities or being in the polluted area.

“Avoid being in the polluted area and seek medical treatment immediately if having nausea, breathing difficulties, vomiting, eyesores, and chest pain.

“Don’t take it for granted as it (chemical substance) can absorb into the skin and bring harm. It can also stick to our clothes and be transferred to other people or even family members,” he said. — Bernama

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