KUALA TERENGGANU, June 16 — A male Orang Asli from Kampung Sungai Berua in Hulu Terengganu, was admitted with cough complaints to the Hulu Terengganu hospital on Friday, bringing the total number of Orang Asli community members currently warded there to nine.
On Wednesday, eight other Orang Asli from Kuala Koh in neighbouring Gua Musang, Kelantan, were admitted to the hospital in Hulu Terengganu — seven had cough complaints, while another who had experienced diarrhoea, stomach pains and vomiting was being treated for acute gastroenteritis.
State health director Dr Mohd Jusoh told reporters today that the 26-year-old man from Hulu Terengganu was warded after he had gone to the hospital for treatment at 8.57pm.
“He had been experiencing a fever for the past two weeks but developed a cough three days before visiting the hospital,” he said, adding that the fact that the patient had come to seek medical treatment through his own initiative was a good development indicating that the Orang Asli community was increasingly vigilant about their health given the recent deaths affecting the Orang Asli of the Batek tribe from Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
The director said all nine patients in hospital aged between four and 26, and comprising six males and three females were in a stable condition and had been placed in separate wards to facilitate the provision of appropriate treatment.
Prior to the hospitalisation, the health department had conducted phased checks on 23 Orang Asli in Kampung Gerdong, Hulu Terengganu who had originated from Kuala Koh in Gua Musang, Kelantan — the community members comprised seven who had been living there for a long time, and another 16 who had just moved there on June 8.
A total of 14 Orang Asli deaths were reported to have taken place in the past month in Gua Musang, Kelantan, with two bodies examined by the authorities and determined to have been caused by pneumonia.
There are four Orang Asli settlements in Terengganu, comprising two in Hulu Terengganu and one each in Besut and Kemaman. — Bernama