65 more warded over toxic scare
Published on: Sunday, March 17, 2019
JOHOR BAHRU:Sixty-five more people were admitted to hospital as of last night due to the chemical waste pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, bringing the total of those still treated for toxic inhalation in the case to 371 people, from 491 people yesterday.
Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal, in a statement today, said eight people were still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and they were reported to be in stable condition.
He said works to clean up the river were in progress by contractors under the supervision of the Department of Environment.
The cleaning works are being carried out round the clock in three shifts, he added.
He reiterated the need for the public to no go near the site of the cleaning works that were being carried out.
As at 3 pm yesterday, 4,035 people had sought treatment due to the contamination.
Seventy to 90 per cent of cases of people receiving treatment at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council Stadium medic base here, were due to panic following numerous rumours and untruths spread on the toxic wastes pollution in the KimKim River, last week.
Mercy Malaysia clinical pyschologist Dr Azlina Roszy Mohd Gaffar said that, based on monitorings and observations up to yesterday, it was found that most of the cases referred there were related to panic.
‘’(They) were anxious and worried because they did not know what to do and they had actually panicked.
‘’So, when they panicked, they have symptoms such as hyperventilation or short of breath which is often compounded with problems they already have,’’ she told reporters at the stadium here.
In addition, Dr Azlina said air pollution also impacted badly on those who had asthma and heart problems, and panic would also worsen their conditions.
‘’If not alleviated, we will admit them and they will be treated in accordance with the stipulated procedure. However, after we have seen, for sometime, for example, half-an-hour, one hour, and he feels better and is improving, and we see no other symptoms, it is indeed anxiety or panic,’’ she added.
In addition, panic too would also result in some people getting rashes, itch and headache, she said.
As of midnight, 65 new patients were warded due to the chemical wastes pollution, making the number of those who were still being treated at hospitals at 371 people.
As of 3 pm yesterday, 4,035 people were treated due to the chemical wastes pollution.
In BANTING,The Education Ministry confirms that 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang district were still closed due to the toxic pollution from the dumping of chemicals into the KimKim River on Thursday.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the schools concerned would be reopened at a date to be announced later.
‘’We look at the situation first. We don’t have a date for the reopening of the schools,’’ he told reporters after officiating the Private Education Open Day at MAHSA University here today.
On Wednesday, the ministry directed 111 schools in Pasir Gudang closed following the toxic pollution based on the current situation and feedback from the State Disaster Management Committee. Yesterday, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Committee chairman Yeo Bee Yin said the most polluted 680-metre of the 1.5 km long KimKim River had been cleaned involving 90 workers from Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Maszlee urged all Malaysian students in Christchurch, New Zealand and nearby cities to exercise caution following the random shooting incidents at two mosques in Christchurch, yesterday.
‘’So far, none of our students are affected. All the 303 Malaysian students in Christchurch are safe.
“We hope our students will take precautionary measures. We pray the best for our students and Malaysians there,’’ he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement yesterday, reported that two Malaysians were injured in the incidents at the two mosques in Christchurch and were currently undergoing treatment. – Bernama