TAXILA: The Attock district administration imposed a livestock emergency after two persons died of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF).

Section 144 was imposed in the district, under which holding of cattle markets had been banned and inter-district movement of cattle prohibited for 10 days ahead of Eidul Azha.

A meeting of the technical advisory committee, comprising all stakeholders, including officials of the local administration, health and livestock departmentswas held under the chair of Deputy Commissioner Rao Atif Raza.

It was decided to ban holding of cattle markets in Gondal in Attock, Domel, Jand and Gali Jageer in Fatehjang. Besides, a complete ban on the inter-district and inter-provincial movement of cattle would be ensured.

Later, Deputy Commissioner Rao Atif Raza, along with assistant commissioner Hassanabdal, paid a surprise visit to the livestock department checkpost on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Punjab border at Jehri Kass on Hazara Road and monitored the possible movement of cattle from KP to Punjab.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Engineer Aamir Khattak also paid a surprise visit to the livestock checkpost in Attock Khurd on G.T. Road to review the arrangements taken by the Attock administration.

District Health Authority Chief ExecutiveDr Asad Ismail said the latest wave of the disease was detected on May 1, when a 51-year-old patient named Mohammad Imran from Hazro was brought to a hospital in Rawalpindi with high fever and bleeding from the mouth. He later died in the hospital.

The second patient was a 50-year-old woman named Khair Khanum, who came from Jand on May 17 and did not survive. The National Institute of Health (NIH) later confirmed that both patients were suffering from the Congo virus.

Responding to a question, Dr Ismail said Congo virus was lethal with only a 10pc chance of recovery. He said the virus was transmitted from animals to humans and among humans. Symptoms include bleeding from the gums, nose and stools, as well as high fever.

Attock Livestock Department Additional Director Dr Abdul Hameed said the department had established checkposts at all entry and exit points of the district to enforce the ban on the movement of cattle in the district.

The Punjab government has dispatched a nine-member committee comprising experts from the health and livestock departments to examine the causes and study the cases of the affected persons to finalise a strategy to minimise the further spread of the deadly disease in Attock district as the mass movement of cattle was expected ahead of Eidul Azha.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2024

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