New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Combating the novel coronavirus like the rest of the world, Assam is now facing a new problem - African Swine Fever. The virus has killed around 2,800 pigs in the state since February, making it an epicentre of ASF in India.

Swine fever cannot be transmitted to humans, but it is almost 100 percent fatal in pigs and has devastated swine herds in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Assam claims that the virus has come from China, where it has killed around 60 per cent of domestic pigs between 2018 and 2020.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked the veterinary and forest departments to draw a broad roadmap to deal with the situation.

Sonowal also urged the departments to work in close synergy with the National Pig Research Centre (NPRC) to tide over the crisis hitting the piggery sector, an official release said.

He asked officials concerned to conduct 'threat- mapping' and undertake containment measures across the state.

On Sunday, Veterinary Minister Atul Bora had said the disease was detected towards the end of February this year, but it started in April 2019 at a village in Xizang province of China bordering Arunachal Pradesh.

He said the Assam government will not cull pigs immediately and look for an alternative option to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to a 2019 state census, the pig population was 21 lakh, which has increased to around 30 lakh at present, Bora had said.

The first case of the African Swine Fever was reported in 1921 in Kenya and Ethiopia though the problem is very rare in this part of the country.

The National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, has confirmed that it is African Swine Flu. As per a 2019 census by the department, the pig population of Assam was 21 lakh, but it has increased in recent times to around 30 lakh.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta