KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 18, 2018: The Health Ministry has confirmed that as of 5 pm today, 19 people have died due to methanol poisoning.
The ministry had received notification of 51 methanol poisoning cases, with 45 in Selangor and six in KL, with three of the victims locals and 48 from various countries including Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh and India.
Another 14 patients are in a critical state, nine hospitalised for treatment and observation, while nine had been discharged after treatment.
“The number of cases may increase as more patients have come forward seeking treatment,” said Health Director-General Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement tonight.
The patients displayed symptoms of methanol poisoning such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision while some also experienced breathing difficulties, seizures and loss of consciousness.
According to Noor Hisham, investigations by the KL Health Department, the Selangor Health Department and affected district health offices found that all the patients had bought the alcohol in KL and Selangor.
Samples have been sent to the Sungai Buloh National Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
“The ministry through the Food Safety and Quality Division is intensifying enforcement on alcoholic drinks which contravene the Food Act especially suspect alcoholic drink products and other brands which do not comply with the Food Regulations,” said Noor Hisham. — Bernama