Johor sees spike in respiratory-related illnesses

JOHOR BARU: The worsening haze has contributed to an increase in respiratory-related illnesses in the state with 19,655 cases recorded during the first two weeks of the month.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said there was also a marked spike in hospital admissions for respiratory ailments, from 28,768 in July to 30,118 in August.

“We believe that the hazy weather contributed to the increase as 19,655 cases were recorded within just 15 days this month,” he said.

Ayub said patients with respiratory illness were given priority for hospital admission because they were in the high-risk category.

He said health clinics had been handing out face masks to chronic patients who face higher risks of falling ill due to the haze.

“I hope that various departments and the private sector can also help distribute face masks to members of the public or their workers.

“People should also refrain from outdoor activities and drink more water during this period,” Ayub added.

The Air Pollution Index readings in all areas in the state were at average levels, between 58 and 72 as of 2pm yesterday.

Meanwhile, six domestic flights were cancelled at the Senai International Airport here due to the hazy weather that affected operations in the Subang Airport in Selangor.

The airport’s chief operations officer Noor Safura Suib said that the flights were unable to depart from the Subang Airport due to poor visibility, resulting in the cancellations here.

The visibility here, however, has been clear and good for take off, she told The Star when contacted here on Sunday (Sept 27).