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‘State rabies-free if no case for at least 2 years’
Posted on : 16 Nov 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

SARAWAK can be declared rabies-free when the state has remained free of animal and human rabies for a period of at least two years.

In stating this, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said his ministry continues to work closely with the state Health

Department, Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak, state agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in controlling and preventing the rabies outbreak. 

“The state Health Department has reported six laboratory confirmed human rabies cases, five of whom had died due to the disease since the declaration of the human rabies outbreak on July 1.

“The latest human rabies case was notified on August 8 and the patient is currently critically ill and warded in the intensive care unit of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH),” he said when winding up his ministerial speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) yesterday.

Dr Sim noted that as of Oct 25, four divisions namely Serian, Kuching, Sri Aman and Samarahan have been affected by the rabies outbreak.

“A total of 4,320 cases of animal bites from the outbreak areas have been reported to the state Health Department and out of this, 1,586 cases have received vaccination.”

He added that to date, 90,000 brochures had been distributed to the community and 420 banners had been put up at strategic locations to educate and continually remind the public on rabies.

On a related matter, Dr Sim said his ministry had recently completed the draft for the new Local Authorities (Dog Licence) By-laws to be discussed and deliberated at an ongoing workshop jointly organised by the state Health Department and World Health Organisation.

“The new by-laws will consolidate and repeal the old by-laws with improved provisions that require dog owners to vaccinate their dogs with anti-rabies vaccination before any licence can be issued.

“In addition to this, my ministry will continue to review and update the other laws of the local authorities.”