Statewide operation to detect rabies infection pertinent — Voon


Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING: The government should carry out a statewide operation to detect  areas affected by rabies in different parts of Sarawak.

In making this call, PKR Women national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni opined that such operation is necessary after 22 areas in the state, including Kuching, are declared ‘rabies infected areas’ by the State Disaster Management Committee.

“Since the incubation period takes two to three months for the symptoms of the disease to manifest, there is a possibility that the infection may have spread to other towns such as to Sibu, Sarikei, Bintulu and Miri.

“There are thousands of stray dogs on the streets and it can be beyond any calculation as to the extent the disease has spread,” she said in a press statement yesterday.

In view of this, Voon suggested that samples be taken from all stray dogs in all towns across the state for testing.

“Early detection enables the public to take precautions and be able to curb the spread of the disease. And since the disease has also been detected in Perak where three dogs tested positive for rabies, it is a matter of time before the outbreak swell into a national problem.

“We need to press the panic button now and the federal government should come in with more manpower and vaccines to help these two states contain the disease.”

She acknowledged that even with the shortage of manpower and vaccines, the local authorities in the state are working tirelessly and racing against time to stop the spread of the virus.

“Therefore we urge the federal government to take drastic action to mobilise  support on the ground in Sarawak and for the state government to launch a statewide preventive operation.”

On the other hand, she said the public have been cooperating by sending their dogs and pets for vaccination.

“The daily detection in new affected area is alarming to the public and everyone is anxious.”

Voon took the opportunity to advise those who have been bitten by dogs or cats since the last three months to go to hospital for blood test and medical treatment immediately.