Lo: Be aware of rabies while under the shadow of Covid-19 infections

A screen grab of Lo (top left corner) addressing a press conference for media via Zoom.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 27: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) has urged the public not to be complacent about rabies in the shadow of Covid-19.

MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang revealed that Sarawak recorded 171 dog bite cases in the period of Dec 27, 2020, to Jan 23 this year.
“Out of the figure, 37 cases occurred under MPP jurisdiction.

“In 2020 alone, Sarawak recorded a cumulative of 16,279 dog bite cases,” he said of the alarming figure as Sarawak is still in the fight against rabies which is one of the most devastating viral diseases affecting mammals, including dogs and humans.

Lo highlighted this in a press conference after the MPP full council meeting via Zoom today.

Sarawak recorded seven rabies fatalities throughout last year. The total cumulative number of rabies cases in Sarawak since the rabies outbreak was declared in the State on July 1, 2017 now stands at 30 cases with 28 fatalities.

There were two cases still alive and both involved children who had received early treatment.

Lo thus reminded the public to not be complacent because rabies is a fatal disease.

“The most frightening part about rabies is that every confirmed rabies case on humans is nearly fatal. So we have to be really careful,” he advised.

With 86 per cent bite cases being from pet dogs, he thus pointed out that rabies vaccination was crucial to prevent the risk of rabies as well as keeping pets indoor to avoid roaming freely with strays.

The areas with positive rabies cases were Kampung Punau, Kampung Quop, Kampung Bumbok, Kampung Semaba, Kampung Sebetong, Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong and Kuching City Mall.

“The council is actively carrying out stray removal activities at the said area,” he added.

On Aedes, Lo reported that MPP areas did not record any dengue cases so far this year but even so, the public should continue to maintain a high standard of cleanliness in their surrounding environment.

“Public cooperation is sought to maintain the cleanliness of the surrounding especially by destroying any potential Aedes breeding ground.

“Indiscriminate dumping should be avoided especially during rainy days and flooding season to prevent stagnant water from accumulation,” he said.

MPP, he continued, had inspected 280 premises including shops, residentials and schools since the beginning of January.

“We have also distributed pamphlets to the public and conducted fogging in locations with high Aedes index after inspections,” he added. -DayakDaily