Two from Perak dead from methanol poisoning (Updated)

IPOH: Two locals died and three others have been hospitalised in Perak for suspected methanol poisoning, raising the number of fatalities from laced alcohol consumption to 26.

The latest death toll follows a new case in Selangor as of 1pm today.

Perak Health Committee chairman A. Sivanesan said the 50-year-old victim died on the way to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun hospital, while the second victim aged 39 died at a private hospital here.

Sivanesan said the other two victims aged 41 and 53 are currently warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with one of them in critical condition while the third victim who is 35-years-old was reported to be in stable condition.

“The victims are believed to have consumed namely Kingfisher Beer and Grand Royal Whiskey. These are locally distilled products which contain methanol,” he said when met at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun hospital.

He said the state government wants the police and the Customs Department to track down shops selling illicit liquor to avoid more of such deaths.

“We have information on outlets selling such alcohol and it will not be difficult to take action against them,” he added.

Sivanesan said the first case of methanol poisoning was reported 30 years ago in an estate in Lunas, Kedah.

“After the crackdown, the drinks disappeared but are now making a comeback,” he added.

Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Mazlan Mansor said 16 people were still receiving treatment and 20 have been discharged from hospitals in the state.

He said the total number of victims affected in Selangor is 56.

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Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, the number of confirmed deaths remained unchanged which is four as of today.

Later today, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Health Ministry has received eight clinical blood test results from both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“We received eight results in total which were all positive for methanol,” he said today.

However, the results of samples taken on cases in Perak have not been obtained.

Noor Hisham added up to Sept 20, 68 premises selling alcohol were inspected where 647 bottles of various brands of alcoholic beverages including those brands that did not comply with the Food Act 1983 and 1985 Food Regulations were seized.

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