PUTRAJAYA: Water safety tests in the Kuala Koh Bateq settlement still reveal that the water is safe for human consumption, says Kelantan Health director Dr Zaini Hussin.
He said the results were the same as was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail during her visit to the settlement on June 14.
“It is safe now as it was when it was announced,” he said when contacted.
The plight of the community came into the spotlight after 15 people, including children, died mysteriously since last month.
Many parties including NGOs had speculated that the deaths were caused by a disease that was brought about by polluted water supplies believed to have been caused by unscrupulous mining and oil palm plantation activities in the area.
The post-mortem on three of the victims including three-year-old Nasri Rosli, however, revealed that they had died due to measles.
Dr Zaini clarified that although measles was an airborne disease, water safety tests continue to be carried out to reconfirm its safety.
He also said that so far, 113 people had received treatment at the hospital.
“One of them, who was warded in the Intensive Care Unit in Hospital Kuala Krai, has been transferred to a normal ward,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chemistry Department director-general Mohamed Zaini Abdul Rahman said the team in Kuala Koh would work with both the Environment and Health departments to gather water samples in the area for analysis.
“Water samples are collected every four days. The samples will immediately be sent to the department’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya.
“The samples are from areas where villagers would usually collect their water including rivers and tube wells around the vicinity,” he said yesterday.
Mohamed Zaini said he was leaving it to the Health or Environment departments to announce the results of the analysis.
‘Bateq not being relocated’