KUCHING: The situation at the five villages in Serian affected by the rabies outbreak is under control following swift action by the authorities.
There were no sign of panicking and the villagers were going about their daily routine. They are also giving their full cooperation in the vaccination exercise since Tuesday, apart from helping officers catch stray animals.
The state government has declared Kampung Krait, Kampung Paon Rimu, Kampung Paon Rimu Bakung, Kampung Remun and Kampung Lebor as rabies-infected areas under the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.
An order has gone out mandating all household dogs in the infected areas to be vaccinated.
"We hope the swift actions taken by all relevant agencies would help to contain this outbreak.
"We have received advice from Putrajaya on ways to handle the situation, based on previous outbreaks in Kedah, Perlis and Penang.
"We are confident the standard operating procedures that we adopted from the incidents would help us to contain this outbreak," Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas told reporters during a visit to monitor the progress of the vaccination exercise in Serian on Wednesday.
A total of 68 people were bitten by dogs at the five villages between April and July 1, with no new cases reported.
All the victims would be vaccinated immediately.
Uggah, who is state Disaster Management Committee chairman, said vaccination would also be carried out on all cats and dogs within ground zero of the five villages.
"That is why we declared the five villages as rabies-infected areas, where all dogs and cats be given vaccination.
"Vaccination exercise will be carried out within a 10km radius to contain any spread of the virus," he said.
"Cooperation from the local community is important. Please report immediately any incident of dog bites to the hospital.
"The veterinary department must also be informed of such incidents," Uggah said.
Uggah also visited the family of the two young siblings who succumbed to the infection.
He said the family will receive government aid to cope with their losses and the state government would look into rebuilding the family's house.
Uggah added that the father, Mazlan Pujan, 36, was also looking for a permanent job.