KUCHING: A person suspected of being infected with rabies is now seeking treatment at Sarawak General Hospital and could be the 19th rabies human case if test result is positive.
This came more than a week after rabies claimed the life of its 17th victim, a 26-year-old man from Batu Kawa, died at Sarawak General Hospital on May 31.
Another victim, who was infected in August 2017, is comatose and treated at home.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who revealed this today, said he was sad that human rabies cases are still happening.
He announced the 4th Phase of the statewide Anti- Rabies Operations would cover Serian and Simunjan Districts simultaneously from June 20 till 25.
The integrated operation involving multiple agencies was initiated after the rabies outbreak was declared a Level 2 Disaster earlier this year.
“It is sad that human positive cases are still happening.
“We must and will take this very seriously especially in relation to our on-going and future anti- rabies operations,” said Uggah after chairing the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) meeting on rabies here today.
Uggah who is also SDMC chairman said despite the frequent advice on how to treat oneself after being bitten by dogs in the newspapers, social media, leaflets and posters, there were some people still ignorant of such treatment.
“The treatment is very easy. First wash the bite or scratch marks with soap and running water for 10 to 15 minutes.
“Then go immediately to the nearest hospital or clinic to seek further treatment,” he said.
On the operation, Uggah said his committee had conducted three phases of operation so far covering Lundu, Bau, Samarahan and Kuching Districts and Padawan Sub District.
” We have managed to remove 5,867 stray dogs and 38 cats.
“Generally, I believe we have achieved our objective despite facing some weaknesses, challenges and oppositions.
“I hope the coming operations will be carried out in more orderly and effective fashions,” he said.
For the record, the Serian leg of the operation would cover 257 kampung with 18,837 households.
There were an estimated 7,817 dogs belonging to 3,900 owners and 552 strays. So far this year, 25 dogs had been vaccinated.
Last year, an accumulated 9,457 dogs had been vaccinated including those in the Tebedu district.
For the Simunjan district, the operation would cover 144 kampung and 12 oil palm plantations.
The district was said to have an estimated 104 stray dogs while 257 other dogs had not been vaccinated.
Present at the meeting were acting Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, the Director of the State Safety and Enforcement Unit Dato Dr. Chai Khin Chung, the State Veterinary Services Department Director Dr. Adrian Susin Ambud and police Community Crime Prevention and Safety section head DSP Ang Seow Aun who represented the State Police Commissioner.