KOTA BARU: The Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) has described the sudden mass deaths among the orang asli community from the Batek tribe in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, as an unprecedented occurrence.
Kelantan / Terengganu Jakoa director, Hashim Alang Abdul Hamid said it could be regarded as a dark moment in the history of the community.
He said the process of burying the bodies of the 15 people who died due to a measles outbreak took almost an hour, and it would always be remembered by the orang asli.
“We hope this kind of tragedy will not occur again, and we have advised those from the community who have symptoms of the disease to immediately seek treatment at the hospital.
“After this incident, we also find that there is greater awareness among the orang asli community about diseases, especially infectious ones such as measles,“ he said when contacted today.
Meanwhile, he said about 50 residents including the families of the deceased attended the burial today.
According to him, a meeting with the orang asli people from Kuala Koh who were currently living in temporary shelters at the Taman Etnobotani camp in Gua Musang found that they were now more aware of hygiene and the causes of diseases.
He said there was a positive response from all of them, and Jakoa planned to have a village cleanup programme with the community once their it was declared safe. — Bernama