Sabah has detailed plan to control, prevent spread of rabies outbreak from Sarawak

FARDY BUNGGA

KOTA KINABALU: Measures on rabies management and control are in place in the event of the outbreak of the virus in the state, said Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong. He said the Sabah Veterinary Services Department has formulated a detailed plan to stop and handle rabies if the virus infected live animals and subsequently humans in the state. “The department has also reviewed the policy regarding this disease and had made improvements," he said in a statement issued to dismiss various speculations suggesting that the zoonotic disease has been detected in Sabah. He explained the ban to prevent entry of live animals from the neighbouring state into Sabah is still in place since the outbreak was declared in Sarawak in July last year. "Since then, the department has strengthened checks and enforcement to stop entry of dogs, cats and other carriers of the virus into SZabah at entry points especially via land routes, namely through Sindumin – Merapok Immigration Quarantine Security (IQS). According to Wong, several awareness campaigns have also been conducted in Tawau, Kalabakan, Pagalungan and Nabawan. "This included the ‘table top’ simulation as well as on the field simulation by the Department in Kalabakan Tawau from July 9 to 12. Improvement of immune areas will also be conducted at the borders of Kalabakan- North Kalimantan and Nabawan/Pensiagan-Sarawak, where all dogs within 30-kilometre radius will be given rabies vaccine. "The public is also urged to report to the authorities if they have information on any individuals attempting to smuggle in dogs or cats into this State. No one is allowed to do this," he stressed. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd