KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — The Kelantan State Health Department has discovered 29 cases of respiratory complications among the Batek tribe Orang Asli community in Kuala Goh, in Gua Musang Kelantan.
In a press statement today, State Health Director Dr Zaini Hussin said that the patients include babies, children and adults; all were brought to Aring and Chiku 3 Health Clinics for medical treatment.
He said after receiving reports of respiratory illness from volunteers on June 4, a medical team together with the Orang Asli Welfare Department (Jakoa) were dispatched to the Orang Asli community.
"Based on our inspection, 12 were identified as outpatients and 17 individuals were sent to Kuala Krai Hospital for further treatments," said Dr Zaini.
Out of the 29, three were babies, 10 children and 16 adults.
Test results from Gua Musang and Kuala Krai Hospitals have ruled out tuberculosis but they are still waiting for the other test results.
Commenting on the viral claim that 13 Orang Asli died due to respiratory complications, the Health Department said it could only confirm two deaths.
"Based on our postmortem report, the two died from pneumonia. We cannot confirm the other deaths because no reports have been lodged with the State Health Department," he said.
A team tasked with seeking out active cases found another 24 cases yesterday, which they referred to the Chiku 3 Health Clinic for treatment.
Awareness programmes have also been initiated to educate the public regarding the health issues.