Haze-borne diseases rise 40% – Health D-G

LABUAN: The number of patients seeking treatments for conjunctivitis, asthma and skin rashes rose by 40 per cent nationwide due to the prolonged incident of haze, to date.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the increases in the number of cases varied at different stations with those recording a higher Air Pollutant Index (API) recording more frequent cases of respiratory infections, conjunctivitis and skin rashes.

He advised the public to stay indoors and reduce outdoor activities during the period of haze.

He was speaking to reporters after handing over certificate of appreciation for outstanding performances to the staff of the Labuan Health Department here today.

“When going outside, it is necessary to take extra precautions as protection from the haze. Use face masks and constantly wash your face and exposed parts of the body,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Labuan Health Department director Dr. Ismuni Bohari disclosed that the island had only recorded a below five per cent increase in haze-related illnesses.

“So far, the API in Labuan has remained moderate level at between 70 and 80. Nevertheless, a surveillance conducted by my department found no significant rise of related illnesses,” he said.

However, he said that the public must take the necessary precautionary measures till the haze cleared up.