Beware of drug-laced coffee from strangers — Dr Subra

Dr Subramaniam (front right) tours the holistic medical centre after launching it. — Bernama photo

GEORGE TOWN: Beware of pre-mixed coffee offered by strangers. It may be laced with drugs!

The Health Ministry has warned the public not to consume pre-mixed coffee offered by strangers as it might be spiked with drugs.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam confirmed the analysis on the sample of coffee consumed by two Nepalese men, which caused them to experience extreme fatigue, contained psychoactive chemical substance.

“We had five patients (with similar symptoms) before this…yesterday, there were two more cases with similar symptoms after they consumed coffee offered by strangers. It seems there is some kind of syndicate giving away coffee sachets which contain drugs.

“(The) People must be careful, do not accept anything from strangers. We will do our analysis while the police will investigate on their part such as (locating) the source and so on,” he told reporters after officiating a holistic medical centre here yesterday.

Three men and two women were treated at the Penang Hospital after experiencing extreme fatigue and weakness while some also fainted after allegedly drinking a coffee between Sunday and Tuesday.

The five, aged 19 to 62 years, were warded for observation and tests. Three have since been discharged.

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry was now investigating all aspects, including the factory and the production of the coffee.

Asked whether the ministry would withdraw the product from the market, he said there was no evidence that showed the coffee produced by the factory contained the illegal substance.

“Until we finalise the  investigation, we advise the people to be careful. Until we have strong evidence to incriminate the producers, we do not have any immediate intention to withdraw it from the shelves,” said the minister.

Meanwhile on the rabies case in Sarawak, he said the ministry welcomed the Department of Veterinary Services to create rabies-free zones, particularly at the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, by ensuring that dogs in the area had been vaccinated.

“This is very important as the percentage of dogs infected by the rabies virus in the area is high. Prior to this, not all the dogs were vaccinated. So, (taking) such a measure will lead to better control,” noted Dr Subramaniam. — Bernama

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