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Sarawak still hopes to be rabies-free by 2025 — Dr Sim
Posted on : 05 Mar 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

KUCHING: Sarawak still hopes to achieve zero-rabies status by 2021 and be free from the disease by 2025, said Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Since the last case on Nov 2 last year, where a five-year-old boy died from rabies, there had been no infection cases until now, except for getting reports on dog bites almost every month, he added.

“From the last case (in November 2019) there has not been any case of humans affected by rabies but we still need to ensure that rabies remains our focus.

“However, despite so much education and information going to the community, we still have about 300 dog-bite reports a month. It may not be fatal but we want to decrease the numbers,” he said.

Dr Sim was speaking at a ceremony to hand over 26 customised 4X2 double cabin pickup trucks from the state government to the ministry at the foyer of Kuching South City Council yesterday.

He added that the Sarawak government has been spending millions of ringgit on vaccinations, micro-chips and dog tags to prevent the spread of rabies since its outbreak in July 2017.

At the same time, he informed that the Veterinary Department was still giving out free vaccinations for pets like dogs and cats.

“Pets must go for yearly vaccinations so that they do not get infected with rabies,” he said.

As of yesterday, Sarawak has been declared as Level 2 Disaster under the National Security Council Directive No.20, and the government with the cooperation of relevant agencies is strategising to combat and contain the deadly disease.

Dr Sim said up to November 2019, 22 confirmed human rabies cases had been reported with 21 deaths in the state, while the only survivor, a girl from Serian, who suffers from neurological complications, has been on life-support machine for the past two years.

He advised the people to avoid getting bitten by dogs and if they get bitten they should go to the hospital or nearest clinic to get vaccinated.

He also said everyone should play their part in eradicating rabies, including pet owners, NGOs, councils and veterinaries.

“Especially local councils, please ensure that your hawker centres and coffee shops do not throw their waste away anyhow, which would attract dogs,” he said.

Commenting on the 26 customised animal control vehicles, he said they were for monitoring and removal of stray dogs.

Also present at the event were Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng, Ministry of Local Government and Housing permanent secretary Datu Antonio Kahti Galis and Kuching South deputy mayor Hilmi Othman.

 

 

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