Five Perak alcohol-poisoning cases positive for methanol, says health exco

State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan inspects the premises of a toddy maker in Pusing July 15, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
State Health, Consumers Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan inspects the premises of a toddy maker in Pusing July 15, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

PUSING, July 15 — State Health, Consumer Affairs, National Integration and Human Resources Committee chairman A. Sivanesan today confirmed that out of the 28 samples taken from alcohol-poisoning cases in the state, five tested positive for methanol.

Sivanesan said that the authorities have yet to receive the lab results from the remaining samples.

“At the moment, five samples tested positive for methanol. We haven’t received the result of the balance of samples yet,” he told a press conference after inspecting several alcohol manufacturers in the state. 

As of July 7, Sivanesan said that Perak recorded a total of 16 deaths out of the 29 suspected methanol poisoning cases, as reported by hospitals around the state.

“Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh reported 19 cases, Hospital Taiping four cases, Hospital Teluk Intan three cases, while Hospital Manjung and Hospital Kuala Kangsar reported one case each,” he said.

“No new cases have been reported so far,” he added.

Sivanesan also said the Special Action Unit (UTK) had raided 297 premises in the state, in which 18 were found to have alcohol containing methanol.

“We issued 18 offence notices and seized 2,164 items worth up to RM10,300,” he said.

Alcohol poisoning was first reported in Perak two months ago after two foreigners died after consuming tainted liquor in the Kinta district.

Separately, on the inspection conducted on alcohol manufactures today, Sivanesan said that state health department issued a 14-day stop-work notice to a premises producing toddy (palm wine) in Pusing after finding rats in storage containers.

“The shop has been operating for about 30 years and has a licence, but due to uncleanliness, we have sealed the premises for 14 days so that the owner can clean the place.

“If the health authorities are not satisfied with the result of the cleaning, the notice to stop work will be extended,” he said.

Sivanesan added the notice was issued under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983.

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