Uggah: Two years before S’wak can be declared rabies free

KUCHING: Sarawak will only be declared free from rabies after a minimum of two years’ observation from July 1 this year.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said although the latest samples from the state all tested negative for the virus, they will continue to monitor the situation closely.

“All the latest samples taken from Kuching up to Lachau (about 150km from here) are all negative and there are no signs that the disease had spread beyond. So the belt is from Sarikei downwards,” he said.

Although samples taken from Sibu, Sarikei and Lubok Antu are negative, according to World Health Organisation, it takes two years before a place can be certified rabies free.

Uggah also gave his assurance that an immunity belt has been established along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border and along Sarikei to Sri Aman to curb the spread.

“There is an understanding between Sarawak and Indonesia on the collaboration to stop this disease, so there is no question about the continuation to exchange information,” Uggah said.