Government of the Punjab, Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department has issued the official Notification letter on 2nd July, 2020 in connection with SOPs for cattle markets during Eid-ul-Adha 2020.
Cattle Trading and Transportation in the country is a permanent feature during Eid ul Adha. Sacrificing animals on Eid days is a religious obligation for Muslims. Cattle business also generates significant economic boost for the country. On the other hand, this huge movement of livestock and mass gatherings at cattle markets always poses threats of communicable diseases like Cholera, Typhoid Fever, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) and Respiratory infections.
Every year Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Livestock Department and District Administrations take necessary measures to prevent and control spread of these communicable diseases. This year, in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic more comprehensive and focused approach is required to mitigate and control the spread of COVID-19 at cattle markets across Punjab.
The Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD), on the recommendations of Technical Working Group (TWG), is pleased to issue ‘Standard Operating Procedures‘ (SOPs) to prevent COVID-19 spread as detailed below:
COVID-19 is considered zoonotic origin disease, though confirmed link with the specific animal has not yet been established. COVID-19 is a man to man highly transmissible disease which spreads through respiratory droplets produced during coughing, sneezing and talking of the infected person including a vast majority asymptomatic people. The droplets may contaminate the surfaces and hands. Individual’s hands can get contaminated after coming in contact with shared surfaces.
Touching eyes, mouth and nose with contaminated hands transmits the virus to the body that affects the respiratory system. Frequent hand-hygiene, observing social/spatial distancing, abiding with respiratory etiquettes and surface disinfection are desired actions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Management of cattle markets is required to implement following precautionary measures to avoid disease spread: –
(1) Cattle market should be established at designated points, 2-5 KM away from city limits.
(2) Number and size of the cattle markets should depend upon cattle base and transportation facilities however TWG recommends increase in number of cattle markets to manage the rush/gathering of traders and customers.
b). Recommended Measures
(1) Spatial Layout: Each Cattle market must have following well defined areas:
(a) Main business area for establishment of barraas for cattle.
(b) Well ventilated management offices.
(c) Medical and Veterinary camps.
(d) Spacious parking lots separately for vehicles carrying cattle and for customers.
(e) Separate Entry and Exit points for one way controlled movement under SOPs.
(2) Visitor’s Management
(a) The management will ensure controlled entry to the cattle market.
(b) The parking area will be marked for appropriately distanced parking for each vehicle and no extra vehicle will be allowed to enter unless the space is available.
(c) Only two people per vehicle/car will be allowed.
(d) Elderly people and children may not be allowed to enter the market.
(e) People with fever or respiratory symptoms are not advised the cattle markets.
(f) Ensure appropriately distanced queue management at each entry point.
(3) Cattle Placement
(a) Cattles will be placed in appropriately distanced areas.
(b) Customers will not be allowed to mix up with animals inside barraas.
(c) Cattle would be pegged at distance inside barraa so that close gathering of customers can be avoided during inspection of
(4) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)
(a) Cattle markets should provide hand-hygiene facilities (hand wash with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) at entry point and multiple places within the market areas.
(b) No person will be allowed to enter the market without wearing a face covering either for sale/purchase of animals or staff involved in market management.
(c) Never share face mask or face covering with anyone.
(d) Avoid touching the insides of a mask/face covering.
(e) If the mask is soiled or becomes wet discard safely and immediately use new mask.
(f) Use of gloves is recommended while touching the animals.
(g) Cattle market management staff, sellers, buyers and visitors should not share personal items like writing pen, food utensils, pots, etc.
(h) The market premises should have functional toilets and hand washing facility with essentially required supplies including
soap, tissues and paper towels.
(i) No handshake or hugging is allowed with anyone.
U) Gathering of more than 5 persons at one place within market premises should not be allowed.
(k) Use of hand sanitizers is highly recommended after exchange of currency bills, handling of cattle ropes and touching surfaces within the market.
(I) High touch surfaces like bars, table etc. should be cleaned with detergent and disinfected with 0.1% Hypochlorite solution
(m) Proper waste collection and disposal arrangements should be ensured.
(5) Health Status of Staff and Visitors
(a) Thermal scanning of staff and visitors at Entry Points by trained personnel to be ensured.
(b) Medical camps with adequate staffing, equipment and PPE will be established at Cattle markets by concerned District Health
(c) Any person detected with high temperature will be referred to medical camps for further assessment.
(d) Staff and visitors suffering from cough should be immediately separated and referred for further assessment.
(e) Information about any suspected case of COVID-19, will be passed to respective District Health Authority or by calling 1033 for testing of SARS-CoV2 infection.
(f) The daily data of medical camps established at Cattle Markets will be submitted to P&SHC department through COVID-19 dashboard.
(6) Veterinary Clinics
(a) Livestock department is responsible for monitoring of health status of animals being brought and kept at cattle markets.
(b) SARS COV-2 is a novel zoonotic virus, and there are some rare situations that human to animal transmission can occur.
(c) Limited information is available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals. Clinical signs thought to be compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, lethargy, sneezing, nasal/ocular discharge, vomiting, and diarrhea.
(d) Veterinary clinic staff will examine any animal reporting these symptoms and if suspect for COVID-19 infection, will ensure immediate isolation of sick animal for further assessment.
(e) The information about sick animal and its caretaker will be passed to DHA for assessment of health condition of caretakers and his contacts.
(f) The veterinary clinic data will also be compiled and shared with concerned offices in Livestock and Health department for analysis and monitoring of trends.
(g) Veterinary staff will also examine all animals for presence of Hyalomma tick and ensure antl-ticks arrangements at cattle
markets and city entry points.
c. Measures for Prevention of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) with a case fatality rate 10%-40%. Ticks are both reservoir and vector for the CCHF virus. Numerous wild and domestic animals, such as cattle, buffaloes, goats, sheep are silent carriers of this virus and the adult ticks feed on these animals. Animals become infected by infected tick bite. Mode of Transmission is Bite or handling infected Hyalomma tick; blood/tissue of infected domestic animals (slaughtering); or direct contact with blood/tissue of infected patients.
Nosocomial infections are common. Healthcare workers along with animal herders, Veterinarians, Para-veterinary staff, livestock workers, animal merchants, butchers and slaughterhouse workers are at risk of CCHF. Apart from them, close contacts caring the suspected case and person involved in burial practices are also at risk of getting infection. Following measures are
d. For General Public
(1) Wear light colored full sleeves and trousers for easy detection of ticks on clothes and bite protection.
(2) Regularly examine clothing and skin for ticks; if found, remove them safely and use approved acaricides/repellents on clothing and skin.
(3) Use insect/ tick repellent to save from tick bite.
(4) Purchase tick-free animal and don’t allow children to play with animals
e). For livestock & Veterinary Staff
(1) Ensure monitoring of sacrificial animal at various entry points/market.
(2) Make sure that every animal is treated with acaricides a week before reaching animal market/mandi.
(3) Wear gloves and other protective clothing while handling animals.
(4) Always use gloves and forceps for the removal and collection of ticks.
(5) Ticks should never be crushed with fingers. Never handle ticks with bare hands. Frequent hand-wash practice should be adopted.
(6) Always examine the animals for ticks especially on ears, armpits, axilla, abdominal region, teats/udder and region below the tail.
(7) Tick infestation surveillance and disinfection of animals with acaricides (chemicals intended to kill ticks) spray/ shower at market entry points.
(8) Tick infestation surveillance and disinfection of animals with acaricides spray/ shower at city entry points for individual animals directly brought to home by citizen.
(9) Liquid formulation should be sprayed to animal herds and can be injected cracks and cervices of the area. Use Cypermetherine spray on animals (1cc in 2 liters of water) and for ground spray (1 cc in 1 liter of water)
(10) Use of Cypermetherine powder on live animals 1 ml/ 50 Kg body weight is also recommended. Whereas spray of Ivermectins/ topical application may be applied as drops along the vertebral column of animals (10-15 ml per animal).
(11) Lime powder or acaricide can be applied on farms premises to reduce the tick population.
f). Food Services and Vendors
(1) Food Points will be established at dedicated places with only take away services.
(2) Food points and vendors will pack/serve food only in disposable utensils.
(3) Waste Collection bins with lid will be installed at places near each cattle barra for disposal of waste.
(4) Mobile food vendors will not be allowed inside cattle market.
(5) If animal traders do self-cooking, it should be allowed in designated area only and sharing of utensils (Spoon, Glass, plates and cups) should be prohibited.
g). Public Awareness
(1) The awareness messages will be displayed in the cattle markets at conspicuous places
(2) Announcements regarding preventive measures and SOPs should be a regular activity throughout the cattle markets. Announcements in local languages are advised.
(3) District Administrations will arrange awareness sessions and seminars with cattle market management and traders on preventive measures of COVID-19 and Congo Fever in their respective districts.
(1) Eateries and food service tables are not allowed in the premises of cattle markets.
(2) Sanitization tunnels to disinfect human visitors are not allowed.
(3) Children and senior citizen may not be allowed to visit cattle markets