KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang, Perak and Selangor have all put in measures to keep vacationers alert and safe at tourist sites.
But these measures can only go so far, said toursim exco members from the three states. Whether or not a holiday ends in tragedy still rests solely on the vacationers’ ability to watch out for themselves.
The Health Ministry reported there were more outbreaks of leptospirosis this year compared to last year, with nearly a third happening in tourist sites. At least two people have reportedly died of the disease after visiting tourist sites here this year.
Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said warning signs have been put up near waterfalls, lakes and rivers in the state. No recreational parks have been found to have the rat urine disease so far.
“But you never know. Last time, we had one waterfall testing positive and we have taken all the measures and are constantly monitoring these sites, especially ahead of Visit Pahang 2017.
“Ultimately, the tourists need to keep themselves safe and the place clean,” he said.
In Perak, state Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said private contractors have been hired to maintain the cleanliness in eight forests while another eight were being maintained by the state Forestry Department.
She said the department had plans to run leptospirosis tests since 2010 but scrapped the idea because the results were found to be not reliable. Also, there have been no deaths related to the disease in Perak since then.
Selangor exco for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment Elizabeth Wong said the risk of drowning and injuries was also of concern to the state.
“We have more incidents of drowning than leptospirosis in Selangor,” she said.