SERIAN – Sarawak has asked the police and military to ensure that rabies does not spread from Kalimantan in Indonesia across the common border to Sarawak.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said today it was unsure as of now whether the disease had spread from Indonesia but it was necessary for precaution.
“There is a possibility that the disease could have spread from there (Indonesia),” he said to reporters when monitoring the vaccination of pet dogs and cats in Kampung Paon, Sungai Rimu Bakung, near here.
Also present were Sarawak Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee and Sarawak Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim.
Uggah was asked to comment on the statement by Federal Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya that he did not discount the possibility that the rabies in Sarawak had spread from Kalimantan.
Asked to comment on the vaccination exercise, Uggah said Sarawak received advice from the federal government and used the standard operating procedure applied during a rabies outbreak in Perlis, Kedah and Penang several years ago.
“We hope that with the quick action taken by all agencies such as the Veterinary Services Department, Health Department and NGOs, the disease can be brought under control as fast as possible.
“We can adapt the experience from the situation in Perlis, Kedah and Penang and the SOP here,” he said.
Uggah said 6,000 vials of vaccine for dogs and cats had arrived in Sarawak.
The Sarawak government yesterday declared five villages in the Serian district rabies-infectred and ordered the vaccination of all pet dogs and cats in a 10-km radius of the villages. The villages are Kampung Kerait, Kampung Paon Rimu, Kampung Paun Rimu Bakung, Kampung Remun and Kampung Lebor.
Two children, a six-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother, died of rabies yesterday at the Sarawak General Hospital. A seven-year-old girl is undergoing treatment at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Dr Annuar said 68 cases of dog bite were reported by the people in the five villages between April 1 and July 1.
However, he said, there had been no cases of dog bite after July 1.
He advised the villagers to quickly send anyone bitten by a dog to hospital. – BERNAMA