HARIPUR: The deputy commissioner of Haripur has imposed ban on slaughtering animals in private slaughterhouses for a month in Kotnajibullah.
Officials privy to the development told The Express Tribune, the ban was imposed under Section 144. The decision to impose the ban was taken following the death of a butcher from Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) at PIMS in Islamabad.
According to the officials, Livestock Director Dr Javed informed Haripur DC Tasleem Khan regarding a report of issued by National Institute of Health, Islamabad.
As per the report, 41-year-old Mehfooz Elahi, a butcher from Haripur who was also known as Gagi, died of Congo virus in Islamabad.
The DC immediately banned slaughtering of animals in Kotnajibullah for a month. She asked the tehsil municipal officer Haripur to dispose off animal hides and equipment used by the deceased to slaughter animals.
When contacted, District Headquarter and Teaching Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Zakim Khan Wazir said Gagi had neither been admitted to a government hospital nor referred to one by his doctors. There was no record available about him getting infected by the virus.
According to Wazir, he also learned about his death from the livestock director’s office and deputy commissioner. He added health teams have been sent to the area as a preventative measure.
Meanwhile, the DC has arranged an awareness session for butchers and public at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Hall on May 24.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Javed said he received reports of Gagi’s death through unconfirmed sources. He later approached NIH and confirmed the cause of death.
“The butcher had bought an ailing cow with a fractured leg from Sirya village on May 10,” he said. “After keeping the animal at his private slaughterhouse for a couple of days, he slaughtered it.”
He added, “During the process, the deadly tick on the cow’s body bit him and he fell ill with high-grade fever.”
Quoting the statement of his family, Javed said the patient was initially treated by a private doctor and subsequently taken to District Headquarters Hospital, Haripur from where he was referred to PIMS instantly. He said Gagi died at the PIMS on May 13.
According to Javed, the shed where the patient used to slaughter animals and store hides has been sprayed with insecticides.
“His house along with ranches and houses of all those farmers living in the village have also been sprayed,” he said.
The livestock director said his team would spray insecticides on Sirya village on Friday (today) from where the deadly tick carrying cow was bought.
Dr Javed said this was the second case of CCHF in Haripur. He said a CCHF suspect died in Rani Wah village, Khanpur last year.
According to Gagi’s family, the butcher had been slaughtering animals for over two decades. They said Gagi was admitted for about three days at PIMS.
Initially, the family thought he was died on dengue fever. However, the NIH report confirmed he died due to tick bite.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2016.
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