Ten people, including three foreign nationals, were bitten by rabies-infected dogs last Saturday in Bangli regency’s Kintamani sub-district, adding to the huge number of rabies bites in the regency this year.
As reported by Kompas, the victims were bitten by different dogs in various locations. Two German nationals, identified by their initials MW and JG, as well as their tour guide Jro Gunawan, were bitten as they were about to hike Mount Batur.
A Singaporean national, identified by his initials NHM, was bitten while taking a rest after coming down from Mount Batur. Officials said there were three rabies-infected dogs in the area, which also attacked a number of local residents.
“They [the victims] have received an anti-rabies vaccine (VAR), and will be treated with two more vaccinations,” said Ni Nyoman Sri Rahayu, an official from Bangli’s Agricultural, Food Security and Fisheries Agency, as quoted by Sindonews.
The dogs, meanwhile, have reportedly been put down.
Data from Bangli Health Agency shows that there are over 2,250 cases of rabies bites in the regency between January and November of this year — an increase from 1,620 cases over the same period last year.
Earlier in May, a 22-year-old Balinese man was believed to have died from rabies after he was bitten by a dog in Klungkung regency. Several cases of local residents being bitten by rabies-infected dogs also took place around the same time, prompting authorities to step up efforts in curbing the issue.
While the provincial government announced plans to realize a rabies-free Bali by 2020 earlier this year, these latest incidents may indicate that there’s still a long way to go to reach that goal.