Sarawak disaster committee declares 10 areas in Sibu as rabies-positive

Posted on 14 Jun 2020
Source of News: malaymail

Source: MalayMail

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah says the State Disaster Management Committee has declared 10 areas in Sibu as rabies positive after two children were bitten by rabid dogs. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

KUCHING, June 13 — The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has declared 10 areas in Sibu as rabies positive after two children were bitten by rabid dogs, its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said today.

He said the areas are Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Lorong Permai Timur, Kampung Bahagia Jaya Teku, Sibujaya, Batu ½ Jalan Oya, Jalan Hua Kiew, Ulu Sungai Merah, Taman Sanhill Barat, Jalan Oya Lama and Jalan Sentosa.

“All these areas are within a 10km radius of the two previously declared rabies-infected areas in Sibu,” he said in a statement. A five-year-old girl died on March 26 after she was bitten by a stray dog at Jalan Sentosa on March 6, while a five-year-old boy was bitten by a pet dog at his home at Taman Sanhill Barat on May 25 after which he was admitted to the Sibu Hospital for treatment. Twenty-three people have died after they were bitten by rabid dogs since the rabies outbreak in Sarawak in 2017.

A total of 64 areas in Sarawak have been declared as rabies-infected areas since 2017. Uggah warned dog owners that they must keep their dogs under effective control by either confining the pets within an enclosed area from which it is impossible for them to escape or tying them up securely.

“The local authorities may seize and impound any dog which is not on a leash in accordance with the Local Authorities (Dog Licensing and Control) by-laws, 2018,” he said. He said owners who let their pets roam freely on the streets are liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,500 under Section 37 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance, 1999. He said, in accordance with the Anti-rabies Vaccination Order, all dogs in Sarawak must be vaccinated against rabies.

He said any owner or person in charge of a dog who fails without reasonable cause to comply with the Order is deemed to be guilty of an offence, adding that the maximum penalty is RM2,500 under Section 40 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance (VPHO), 1999.

“Dogs without evidence of vaccination may be detained or removed under this section,” Uggah, who is also the deputy chief minister, warned. He said since January 1 this year, the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) has vaccinated a total of 7,518 dogs with anti-rabies vaccination. He added 41 per cent of this figure are booster vaccination.

“The cumulative number of dogs vaccinated from 2017 until yesterday is 158,322,” Uggah said, adding that the anti-rabies vaccination is ongoing even during this recovery movement control order (RMCO). He added owners can bring their dogs to any DVSS divisional offices to get their free anti-rabies vaccination during office hours.

However, he said, they have to adhere to the current standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as social distancing, using hand sanitiser and wearing face masks. For certain areas in Sarawak, he said DVSS will conduct mobile vaccinations at kampungs to reach out to rural areas in Sarawak. He also stressed that it is mandatory for all dogs in rabies-infected areas to get vaccinated against rabies.

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Last Updated On 13 Sep 2023

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