KUCHING, Aug 12 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth wing today urged the federal agriculture and agro-based ministry to send veterinary officers to help the state government contain the rabies outbreak.
Its head Michael Tiang said there is no excuse for the ministry not to send veterinary officers to Sarawak on grounds of financial constraints faced by Putrajaya.
“We hope that the minister Salahuddin Ayub would do his part by asking the Veterinary Services Department to help the state government to contain the spread of rabies,” he told reporters.
He was responding to an appeal by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas for Salahuddin to instruct the Veterinary Services Department to send its officers to the state.
Uggah had said the matter was brought up by Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari at a meeting with Salahuddin early this month.
It was reported that the department stopped sending four veterinary doctors to Sarawak since May.
Separately, Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen said he will speak to Salahuddin on the urgency of the matter in the state.
“I will request the required assistance based on proper and real report on the ground so that we together can effectively handle the situation,” he said.
He urged Uggah to be more up front and honest about the real situation regarding the rabies outbreak that has spread all over Kuching and claimed 10 lives so far.
He recalled that the deputy chief minister had a year ago stated that the situation was under control and was confident that with their current standard operating procedures, state government could contain the outbreak.
“At that time, there were only five villages that were declared as rabies-infected areas, but since then, the outbreak has spread to many different places and currently, the number of areas across the state with confirmed rabies cases stands at 33,” he said.
Yii also said that more new cases are being reported each day.