GUA MUSANG (Bernama): The Health Ministry, along with other relevant agencies, will try to locate the graves of 12 Orang Asli from the Batek tribe who were said to have died of pneumonia in Kampung Kuala Koh here over the past month.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the bodies had to be exhumed for post-mortem to ascertain their actual cause of death.
However, he said the exhumation of the bodies would be left to the police.
The bodies were buried according to the customary Batek tribe funeral rites.
He said the ministry had been facing difficulties locating the graves as they were said to be buried deep in the jungle.
"When we asked their families, they said they did not know,” the minister told reporters after being briefed on the issue.
He also visited the Orang Asli patients who were receiving treatment at the Gua Musang Hospital here Monday (June 10).
A total of 50 Orang Asli from the Batek tribe were still receiving treatment at three hospitals in the state - 37 at Gua Musang Hospital; Kuala Krai Hospital (12) and one at the intensive care unit of the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru.
Dr Dzulkefly also reminded the public not to visit the village to curb the spread of the disease.
While refuting the allegation that the disease, which saw the patients experiencing severe cough, high fever, flu and breathing difficulty, was caused by leptospirosis, he said there was a possibility of it being caused by airborne infectious virus.
"We have carried out some tests and are now awaiting the results which I will announce soon,” he added. - Bernama