Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (third left) handing over the assistance to Mazlan Pujan (fifth right) and wife Alicia John (fourth right), parents of the Serian rabies victims while (from left) Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad, Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian and Datu Ik Pahon Joyik look on. PHOTO: RAMIDI SUBARI
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (third left) handing over the assistance to Mazlan Pujan (fifth right) and wife Alicia John (fourth right), parents of the Serian rabies victims while (from left) Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad, Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian and Datu Ik Pahon Joyik look on. PHOTO: RAMIDI SUBARI

KUCHING: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handed over a personal donation of RM60,000 to the family of the two children who passed away after being infected by rabies in Serian.

The donation was handed over to parents of the deceased, Mazlan Pujan, 36, and his wife Elisa John, 37, at Hornbill Skyways here  yesterday.

From that amount, RM58,000 will be used to construct a new house for the family of six in Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu Bakung, Serian.

Zahid, who is National Disaster Management  Agency (NADMA) chairman, was briefed on the rabies epidemic in the Serian district by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is Chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee.

Also present during the event were Minister of Local Government Datuk Professor Dr Sim Kui Hian and State Legislative Assembly (DUN) speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar.

Mazlan’s children, six-year-old Monica and four-year-old Jackson, died last 4 July at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH). The children were diagnosed to be brain dead and the parents agreed for the life support to be withdrawn.

They were earlier brought to the SGH after falling victims to the rabies disease after being bitten by infected dogs. They left behind their parents and four other siblings.

Meanwhile, four positive rabies-infected cases had been reported but early yesterday afternoon,  a third child also succumbed to the disease. Alicesa Lorenna anak Nody aged 7 from Kampung Lebur, Serian who warded to SGH on 28 June died at about 2.16pm.

The fourth victim is reported to be in still in critical condition at the SGH.

On last 4 July, five villages in Serian District were declared rabies-infected by the State government.  It issued an order for all household dogs within a 10-km radius to be vaccinated against the disease. Later medical personnel busily followed the order.