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Senator calls for regular official updates on rabies
Posted on : 24 Nov 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Source: The Borneo Post

Dogs roaming around in a house estate

SIBU: Providing regular public updates and reminders on rabies would help prevent unnecessary panic and spread of fake news, said Senator Robert Lau. He highlighted this in a statement yesterday, issued in response to the news about the latest rabies fatality in Sarawak.

According to Lau, the information that could be updated regularly should include the number of dog bites and the locations where they occur, the number of confirmed cases under hospitalisation and also the number of cases under investigation.

“It is hoped that there would be more updates and reminders (about rabies cases) so that the public could obtain the verified information and also, there would be no unnecessary panic and rumours,” said the senator.

On Nov 21, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a 16-year-old girl who died on Nov 11, was confirmed as the sixth rabies fatality in Sarawak. Lau said this was upsetting as it had been more than three years since the first death due to rabies was reported in Sarawak.

“In October (this year), the fourth fatality was a woman from Sibu. This caused uneasiness among the folk here because the woman was reported to have been bitten about two years ago.

“There have also been reports of dog bites in other parts of Sibu, striking fear into the hearts of many people here.” Lau acknowledged that with most of the attention and resources being focused on the fight against Covid-19, rabies had somewhat been ‘out of the news’ until the latest fatality was reported.

“We have to take this threat seriously again – everyone must play their part; the dog owners must have their pets vaccinated and keep them within the house compounds,” he pointed out.