"Based on a ministerial-level meeting, the BNPB will soon form an integrated task force for emergency handling of rabies in NTT at the request of the governor of NTT," he said at a press conference at his ministry's office here.
He informed that as of November 15, 2023, the NTT Health Office has reported 1,823 cases of bites from animals that transmit rabies to the Health Ministry. The cases were recorded in the South Timor Tengah and North Timor Tengah districts and caused 11 deaths.
The ministerial-level meeting also emphasized that BNPB must immediately determine the status of disaster management as a basis for handling the rabies outbreak and emergency in NTT province.
Effendy said that the agency will utilize ready-to-use funds to support the task force's operations, including increasing the number of vaccines and equipment needed for conducting rabies vaccinations.
"We are focusing on the emergency handling to be taken over by the BNPB, including the coordination with the central (government); it will include the Agriculture Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the required operational funds," he added.
He said that regional governments and the provincial government had sought the allocation of operational funds to regions. However, the central government determined that regional governments were not ready for that yet.
"We have asked the regional governments to collect data on animals that have the potential to carry rabies, especially dogs. Thus, I have asked for a data collection of dogs in NTT," the minister informed.
That way, he explained, the handling of rabies — which has been considered endemic in regions with high cases, such as NTT — can be carried out well.
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