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Assam not to cull pigs despite ASF killing over 13,000

According to the 2019 census, Assam had over 21 lakh pigs, which could have increased to around 30 lakh.

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African Swine Fever pigs

Guwahati, May 11 : Despite the central government’s advice and death of over 13,000 pigs following the African Swine Fever’s (ASF) outbreak in 10 of the 33 Assam districts, the state government has decided against culling pigs, according to a top official here on Monday.

Assam’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department Director Pulin Das told IANS over phone the state government had no plans to cull pigs. The department had taken steps to deal with the outbreak of the infectious disease, Das added.

“We have told the central government in case of culling we will have to pay huge amounts to farmers and firm owners as compensation. Thus, for culling we need huge financial support from the central government,” Das said.

Terming the situation serious, Assam Animal Husbandry, Veterinary and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said 13,033 pigs died in 10 districts in the past several weeks.

The Kaziranga National Park authority has dug a two-km long and six-feet deep trench to protect wild boars (also known as ‘wild swine’) from the ASF infection. The Minister also visited the Kaziranga National Park and adjoining villages to review the steps taken to protect the wild boars.

Bora told the media in Guwahati his department had been working to deal with the highly infectious disease with 90-100 per cent mortality rate.

“We have taken steps, including creation of containment zones, within one km radius of an infected area, and surveillance zone within 10 km, to prevent ASF’s spread. We have set up a committee, comprising officials, experts, specialists and pig farmers and following its advice,” he said.

According to the 2019 census, Assam had over 21 lakh pigs, which could have increased to around 30 lakh.

Due to ASF, pig mortality is also being reported from 9 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. After the outbreak, all eight northeast states have sounded high alert and asked people, especially owners of piggeries, to refrain from bringing pigs from other states.

Animal resource experts suspect Tibet to be the source of ASF.

The northeast’s annual pork business is worth around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore, with Assam being the largest supplier. It’s one of the most common and popular meats consumed by tribals and non-tribals in these states.

According to experts, pigs are generally affected by the classical fever, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome besides ASF, which was first detected in 1921 in Kenya. No vaccines or medicines have been discovered so far.

According to some experts, humans don’t get infected by ASF, but they could be the carriers of the virus.

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Two more Congress MLAs test positive; party office shut in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, July 11 : Two more Karnataka Congress legislators tested Covid-19 positive, while the party’s state unit office in the city has been shut after three employees were infected with the virus, an official said on Saturday.

“Our party MLAs Ajay Singh from Jewargi Assembly segment in Kalaburagi district and Prasad Abbayya from Hubli-Dharwad East seat tested positive on Friday and are under treatment at the designated hospitals,” party’s spokesman M.A. Saleem told IANS.

The party’s office on Queen’s Road in the city centre has been shut till Monday after three staffers tested positive for the corona virus symptoms.

“As the party’s office is located in a containment area, we have shut it after the three staffers had contracted the symptoms and tested positive,” said Saleem.

Singh, son of former Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh, tweeted that he was asymptomatic and would be in quarantine for two weeks in Bengaluru.

“I request all those people who were my primary contacts to take precautions and stay safe,” Singh said in the tweet.

Abbayya got admitted to the state-run KIMS hospital at Hubli in the state’s northwest region after his throat swab tested positive.

Singh and Abbayya attended the oath-taking ceremony of the party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar at the party’s office in the city on July 2.

Another party MLA H.D. Ranganath from Kunigal Assembly seat in the neighbouring Tumakur district, who also attended the Shivakumar function, tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city.

Party’s MLA T.A. Raje Gowda and Chikmagaluru MLC Bhoje Gowda also tested positive and are under treatment in designated hospitals in Chikamagalur.

Chikamagalur is 240km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.

BJP’s MLA Rajkumar Patil Teklur from Sedam in the state’s northern Kalaburagi district also tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in Bengaluru.

Independent MLA Sharath Bachgowda from Hoskote Assembly segment in Bengaluru Rural also tested Covid-19 positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city, an official from his office said.

BJP’s MLA Bharat Shetty from Mangaluru North segment and its MLC M.K. Pranesh also tested positive and have been under treatment since July 5-6.

Veteran state Congressman B. Janardhana Poojary also tested positive for the virus and is under treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru.

“Poorjary, 83, is under treatment at a private hospital here after he tested positive for Covid on Sunday,” party official Ravi Gowda told IANS earlier.

Mangaluru is about 360km west of Bengaluru in the southern state.

Poojary’s son J. Santhosh said his father’s condition was stable and no cause for worry as he was asymptomatic.

Karnataka’s Independent Lok Sabha member and multi-lingual South Indian actress Sumalatha Ambareesh tested positive and was under home quarantine.

Sumalatha, 56, is a parliamentary member from Mandya, about 100km from Bengaluru on way to Mysuru.

The celluloid heroine developed symptoms of headache and throat irritation on July 4. Hence, she decided to get tested, as she might have been exposed to the virus during the course of her duty and tour in her constituency.

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Yediyurappa to work from home as staffers test positive

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Yediyurappa

Bengaluru, July 10 : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would work from his official residence in the city centre for a few days, as some of his staffers at his home office tested Covid-19 positive, an official said on Friday.

“Yediyurappa, 78, will work from his official residence ”Cauvery” for some days after some staff members at his home office ”Krishna” tested positive for the virus,” an official of the Chief Minister’s office told IANS here.

The Chief Minister has cancelled all official engagements till further notice and will hold video conferences with officials and ministers on Covid-19 and other issues.

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Congress leader Sushmita Dev tests Covid positive in Assam, tally 14,032

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

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Sushmita Dev

Guwahati/Silchar, July 9 : While former Congress Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev has tested positive for coronavirus, the Assam government refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers leader, tested Covid-19 positive.

On Thursday, Covid-19 death toll rose to 24 and number of cases jumped to 14,032 in the state.

All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and the party”s national spokesperson Dev, daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was on Wednesday admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital after she tested nCoV positive.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am asymptomatic as of now,” the 48-year-old Congress leader tweeted. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inquired about her health.

On Akhil Gogoi testing Covid-19 positive, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such report from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in the judicial custody, tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, during the day two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 24, while the number of cases rose to 14,032.

Two more Covid-19 patients, aged 70 and 56, succumbed to the infection this morning at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, tweeted Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Health Department is conducting door-to-door Covid-19 testing in Guwahati from Tuesday. The campaign in the Pandu area of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is being personally monitored by Sarma.

According to the health officials, the number of Covid-19 cases in Assam has climbed to 14,032. Of this, 5,279 are active as 8,726 people have been discharged, three migrated to other states and 24 died.

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