LAHORE - In the wake of large scale transportation of sacrificial animals for Eidul Azha, the Punjab government has issued Congo virus alert.

Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a viral disease transmitted by ticks on animals. The ticks, living on the skin of sheep, goats, cattle and camels or in animal sheds, act as a vector for CCHF transmission. Disease could spread through contact with affected people. The Health Department has issued a warning to healthcare providers to take precautionary measures while handling patients. People trading in animals and buyers should take measures to avoid the deadly CCHF.

Chairing a meeting to review situation after reporting of CCHF cases, Director General Health Services Dr Munir Ahmed has said that guidelines on Congo Virus have been issued to all districts. He urged citizens to adopt preventive measures while buying sacrificial animals. Additional Secretary Technical Dr Shahnaz Naeem, Director CDC Dr Muhammad Younis and Director Heath Services Dr Saeed attended the meeting.

Dr Munir Ahmed directed District Officers Health to raise public awareness about causes of CCHF and preventive measures to avoid the menace. He said that district administration has already been directed to take special measures. He said that headaches, back pain, muscle pain, red spots on body, bleeding from nose, mouth and other body organ could be symptoms of CCHF. Affected people should immediately visit nearby hospital for treatment.  Dr Shahnaz Naeem said that DG Khan, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi divisions were sensitive due to massive transportation of animals to other districts.  Dr Haris said that livestock department has deputed qualified doctors at 238 sale points in the province. Moreover, 179 teams have also been deputed on exit and entrance routes of major cities.

Banned outfits can’t collect hides

Commissioner Dr Mujtaba Piracha has directed all deputy commissioners to follow instructions issued by Home Department for collection of hides on Eid ul Azha.

According to directions, the proscribed organisations Under Section 11-H of Anti Terrorism Act, 1997 are not allowed to carry out any such activity.  The proscribed/banned organizations are not allowed to collect hides/skins donations.  It is also stated in guidelines that charities interested in collecting skins/hides will apply to the deputy commissioner along with registration certificate, last year permission/NOC and undertaking in writing that they do not belong to any banned/proscribed group.

The commissioner said that charity organisations are bound to submit their applications and the deputy commissioner will decide the application within 3 days.

He said new charity organisations could also put their applications to DC for permission of collection of hides/skins. He said that District Intelligence Committees would also scrutinize the applications.