Numbers rise: 2,775 people affected by Pasir Gudang chemical pollution

Over 100 schools in Malaysia have been closed after the dumping of toxic waste into a river caused hundreds of people to fall ill, including many children, authorities said.

PASIR GUDANG - The number of those affected by toxic fumes from the chemical pollution of Sungai Kim Kim here has jumped to 2,775.

Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said that until 12pm on Thursday (March 14), there were 1,906 cases at two medical bases in Pasir Gudang, and another 869 victims who sought treatment in hospitals and clinics in Johor Baru.

Dr Sahruddin of the 1,906 cases in Pasir Gudang, 1,483 victims were placed at the Dewan Taman Pasir Putih medical base, of which 224 of there were transferred to Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI).

Another 423 victims were placed at the Dewan Taman Mawar medical base, with 52 of these cases transferred to HSI.

He clarified that the 869 victims in Johor Baru went to clinics and hospitals there without referring to the medical bases in Pasir Gudang.

Dr Sahruddin also said that besides the 111 schools that were directed to close, kindergartens and preschools in the affected area were also told to close.

He added that based on figures from the Johor Community Development Department, a total of 94 kindergartens and preschools in Pasir Gudang, Tebrau and Tenggara have been closed down.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the District Disaster Relief Management Committee closed down the Dewan Taman Pasir Putih and Dewan Taman Mawar medical bases here at around 7.30pm.

All patients and relevant government agency operations have been moved to the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG) Indoor Stadium, which has more space.

The Dewan Taman Pasir Putih and Dewan Taman Mawar was opened on Monday (March 11) as a first-stop screening centre for victims of the incident.