Sarawak deputy premier urges people to keep their guard up to contain rabies

Posted on 14 May 2023
Source of News: malaymail
Source: MalayMail

KUCHING, May 14 — Deputy Premier Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the people’s failure to keep their guard up had contributed to the rabies casualties in Sarawak since its first reported case in 2017.

The Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister said back in 2017 when the first rabies death was recorded, people had behaved well and adhered to the advice of having their pets vaccinated.

"Rabies has still been the same since 2017 but our behaviour has changed. We need to maintain that behaviour (of not letting our guard down). Don’t let the guard down, you should treat it as if rabies is still around. Dogs must go for vaccination every year,” he said when met by reporters after launching the Kuching Car Free Morning initiative at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) building here today.

Dr Sim pointed out that the Department of Veterinary Services of Sarawak (DVSS) is still providing vaccination for pet owners but people thought that rabies had gone away. He said he would be puzzled if pet owners and the community at large still had no clue what to do to keep rabies at bay since its first case in 2017.

"You must bring your dog for vaccination, and cannot wait for the government to vaccinate your dog. If you’re sick, would you expect the doctor to come to your house? We cannot go to every house to do vaccination. Even in 2017, when we did that (house-to-house vaccination), some places we went two or three times, people were not at home,” he added. He said the people must continue being aware of the need to have their pets vaccinated against rabies.

"Rabies has not changed, the treatment has not changed, it’s the same philosophy. If you get scratches and dog bites, you must go for treatment.”
Given this, Dr Sim appealed to everyone to do their part and uphold their good behaviour rather than letting their guard down. According to him, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will convene soon to deliberate the matter. Early this month, Dr Sim said Sarawak recorded 11 rabies cases as of April this year, eight of which involved casualties.

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Last Updated On 13 Sep 2023

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