DGAV warns that animals and goods must be taken care of

in News · 02-02-2020 18:00:00 · 0 Comments

The Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary (DGAV) remains “alert” to the new coronavirus and noted that the entry into Portugal of live animals, goods and products from countries where the disease was detected, must be taken care of.

“In Portugal, the risk of entry of the virus is mainly associated with the circulation of people, namely the inflows of travellers from China and other countries where the disease has already been identified. However, the entry of live animals, goods and / or products (foodstuffs and animal feed) from those countries will have to be taken care of”, warned DGAV, in a note published on its website.

Portuguese border inspection posts receive ships with containers from China and neighbouring countries, so DGAV recommends that employees use personal protective equipment, a protective mask and gloves.

On the other hand, this national veterinary authority advised the posts to implement a pest control plan.

DGAV “remains alert” in the face of this situation and is in “close liaison” with national public health authorities, as well as with those responsible for wildlife, in order to guarantee “coherent and appropriate communication and risk management messages”.

According to the same source, China's customs and health authorities have banned the export of exotic and wild animals, such as birds, ornamental fish, pigeons, reptiles, spiders and scorpions, from this country.

"The effective management of biosafety risks and cooperation with veterinary control authorities will be strengthened at the borders," he said.

Despite mentioning that there is a suspicion that the new coronavirus may have an animal origin, DGAV noted that "the epidemiological correlation with animals is not yet known".

Regarding the precautions to be taken with live animals or animal products, the authority cites the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommend that whenever you travel to countries where the disease has already been detected and are visited commercial establishments for live animals, hygiene measures should be adopted, such as regular hand washing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth.

In addition, WHO argued that any contact with animals on the market "should be strictly avoided", as well as contact with animal waste or fluids "potentially contaminated in the soil or in store structures and market facilities".

DGAV is a central service of the direct administration of the State, with administrative autonomy.

China raised the balance of the pneumonia outbreak caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to 213 dead and nearly 10,000 infected at the end of the year in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province.

The previous balance recorded 170 deaths in China and 7,736 infected people.

In addition to the mainland of China and the Chinese regions of Macau and Hong Kong, there are more than 50 confirmed cases of infection in 20 other countries - Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Nepal, Malaysia, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Philippines and India.

The WHO declared an international public health emergency (PHEIC) due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China.

An international public health emergency requires the adoption of prevention and coordination measures worldwide.

This is the sixth time that WHO has declared an international public health emergency.

To declare it, WHO considered three criteria: an extraordinary situation, the risk of rapid expansion to other countries and the requirement for a coordinated international response.


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