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ASF contained in Quezon City? Belmonte says no new cases in past 30 days

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said that African swine fever   (ASF)  has been contained in her city as no new cases have been recorded in the past month.

In a statement on Saturday, December 14, Belmonte said there has been "no new positive blood tests reported since November 13 and no ASF-related death in the past 30 days." 

Belmonte credited this to city-wide cooperation to combat ASF. However, she also stressed in her remarks during a local health board meeting on Tuesday, December 10, that they still need to ensure that ASF won't strike the city again.

"This experience teaches us the lesson that transparency and allowing the people to participate in solving our problems brings good, rather than hiding the problem from them," she added. 

Belmonte also said the month-long disinfection process will continue and, given no new cases, will be completed by end-2019. 

ASF hit Quezon City in September, with the first reported incident in Barangay Bagong Silangan. Since then, around 5,824 pigs have been culled, Belmonte reported.

The city government also said it has given around P16.9 million as financial assistance to backyard hog raisers affected by ASF.

The city plans to ban backyard piggeries and poultries in all barangays by February 2020, in line with a proposed ordinance. City veterinarian Dr Ana Marie Cabel added that the city has allowed backyard raisers to sell or dispose of their pigs in time for the Christmas season.

Quezon City's Small Business Development and Promotions Office has also been ordered to aid backyard hog raisers in venturing into alternative livelihood programs. – Rappler.com