ISLAMABAD: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been prepared for the cattle markets to be established for Eidul Azha to check the spread of Covid-19 and Congo virus in the capital.
Officials said under the SOPs, eateries and food services would not be allowed on the premises of the cattle markets.
There will also be a ban on sanitisation tunnels to disinfect visitors in the markets. Besides, children and senior citizens will not be allowed entry in the markets.
Cattle trading and transportation is a permanent feature during Eidul Azha which generates a significant economic boost for the country.
On the other hand, huge movement of livestock and mass gatherings in cattle markets always pose threats of communicable diseases like cholera, typhoid fever, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and respiratory infections.
There will be a ban on eateries, food services and entry of children and senior citizens in cattle markets
The capital administration issued the SOPs which the managements of the cattle markets are required to implement.
As per the SOPs, the markets should be established at designated points and two to five kilometres away from the city limits. It is recommended to increase the number of cattle markets to manage rush and gathering of traders and buyers.
The cattle markets should have defined areas for main business points for establishment of stockyards for cattle.
The markets should also have well-ventilated management offices, medical and veterinary camps, spacious separate parking lots for customers and cattle transport vehicles.
Besides, separate entry and exit points for one-way controlled movement are required.
A parking area will be marked with an appropriate distance for each vehicle and no extra vehicle will be allowed to enter unless the space is available and only two people per vehicle will be allowed.
Elderly people and children may not be allowed to enter the markets. Besides, people with fever or respiratory symptoms are advised not to visit the cattle markets.
Cattle would be pegged at distance inside stockyards so that close gathering of customers can be avoided during inspection of animals.
Cattle markets should provide hand-hygiene facilities (soap or alcohol-based hand sanitiser) at the entry point and multiple places within the market.
There should be functional toilets and a handwashing facility with essentially required supplies, including soap, tissues and paper towels.
No one will be allowed to enter the market without wearing a face covering either for sale/purchase of animals or staff involved in market management.
Moreover, no handshake or hugging while market staff and sellers should not share personal items like face masks, pen, food utensils, pots, etc.
Gathering of more than five people at one place within the market premises should not be allowed. Proper waste collection and disposal arrangements should also be ensured there.
Thermal scanning of staff and visitors at entry points by trained personnel to be ensured, medical camps with adequate staffing, equipment and PPE will be established at the markets by concerned district health authority.
Any person detected with high temperature and suffering from cough will be referred to medical camps for further assessment.
Commissioner Rawalpindi retired Captain Mohammad Mehmood directed the officials of the district government, especially the livestock department, to ensure provision of all facilities to the traders of the cattle market and the citizens. He issued the directions during a visit to the model cattle market at Gondal near Attock on Thursday.
The model cattle market has been completed with the allocation of around Rs200 million.
The market has proper sheds, a waiting area, clean drinking water, a parking area, slaughter areas, generators, a veterinary dispensary and other facilities. Work on the multimillion project was initiated in 2017.
Mr Mehmood said to protect sacrificial animals and citizens from diseases fumigation would be ensured in the cattle market besides supply of clean drinking water and quality food items.
Deputy Commissioner Ali Anan Qammar informed Mr Mehmood that a veterinary dispensary has also been established at the market.
He said arrangements have also been made for the security of visitors.
Later, addressing the Attock Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), the commissioner lauded its role in promoting entrepreneurship among women of rural areas.
He said the government had taken remarkable steps for empowering women in the country and was paying special attention to businesswomen in urban and rural areas.
He also announced allocation of land for establishment of women industries in Attock and approval of allotment of office to chamber.— Additional reporting by Amjad Iqbal
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2020