Those bitten by dogs told to report to govt hospitals

Uggah (centre) and others watch Dr Adrian (right) administer the vaccine on a dog. From left are Dennis, Dr Penguang and Lee.

MIRI: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah yesterday urged and advised those bitten by dogs to report to government hospitals.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Minister of Native Land and Regional Development, said this is because the hospitals are equipped with the anti-rabies vaccine.

“Until today, there are around 10,000 cases of dog bites (of various degrees) with around 700 reported in Miri and from 425 samples taken, 95 were positive including two in Julau,” Uggah told reporters

after the launch of Miri Division Rabies Mass Vaccination Programme at the Civic Centre here yesterday.

Uggah said he was puzzled by the number of cases which jumped drastically to over 10,000 after the first case went viral on social media.

Assuring there will be enough vaccines for both humans and the animals, Uggah said the RM10.5 million the state government spent for rabies vaccination programmes showed its seriousness in stopping the mass spread of the disease in Sarawak.

Following the case in Julau in early February this year, the minister wants to ensure that every dog in the state is vaccinated to stop rabies from spreading beyond Kuching, Serian and Julau.

On the number of dogs vaccinated, Uggah disclosed that around 2,038 dogs had been vaccinated in Miri during the past three programmes at the Civic Centre and Taman Tunku.

“Altogether, around 56,630 of dogs have been vaccinated throughout the state and this does not include those who went to private vets,” he said, adding the vaccination programme will be extended to Marudi, Baram and Bario.

Among those present at the launch were Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Sarawak Veterinary Department director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud.