KUALA LUMPUR: Three new cases of Orang Asli being infected with respiratory-related illnesses were reported in Kg Kuala Koh, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
The Health Minister said two cases involving an 11 year-old girl and a 24-year-old woman were detected on June 20 and another involving an 18-year-old teenager on June 21.
"All three patients are in stable condition," Dr Dzulkefly said during a press conference at the National Blood Centre on Saturday (June 22).
This brings the total number of respiratory-related illness cases infecting the Bateq people in Gua Musang, Kelantan to 116, he added.
Of the 116 cases, 47 were confirmed to be due to measles following laboratory test results.
Dr Dzulkefly said that as of June 21, 48 cases were still being treated in hospital – 46 in the normal ward and two in the intensive care unit.
Twelve others with mild symptoms were placed in the Orang Asli Health Lodging (RIKA) in Gua Musang and another 14 at the National Service Training Centre.
As of June 21, Dr Dzulkefly said deaths from measles remained at three, which were confirmed through laboratory testing.
He also said that post-mortem examinations on the 12 exhumed bodies have commenced.
"Anthropological tests are also being conducted on the 12 bodies to determine the gender, age, ethnicity, height and time of death," he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Dzukefly said that on June 20, one new case of suspected measles was reported from the Orang Asli community in Kg Gerdong, Hulu Terengganu.
This brings the number of sick Orang Asli in Terengganu to 13 cases, with eight confirmed measles cases.
At the same time, there are no new cases reported from Kampung Ulu Sat, Jerantut, Pahang, he said.
He said that in all cases from the two villages in Pahang and Terengganu, there was a history of contact with the Bateq community from Gua Musang.
"No other measles infection cases involving other villages was reported," he added.
The Bateq community has come under the spotlight following the deaths of 15 of them since May.
Three deaths had been confirmed to be from measles, combined with a fragile immune system and severe malnutrition.
On the air pollution issue in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Dr Dzulkefly said there were two new cases of breathing difficulties involving male students from Sekolah Agama Taman Mawar, who have since been admitted to a hospital.
He said with the two students, who are currently in stable condition, the total number of cases from the same school was now 18.
The students suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting, believed to be caused by air pollution on Thursday (June 20).
This comes three months after the toxic pollution of Sungai Kim Kim that resulted in over 4,000 people falling ill and led to the closure of 111 schools in Pasir Gudang district.