Mayor Eric B. Africa of Lipa City declared seven out of 14 African Swine Fever (ASF)-infected barangays in the city free from the virus.
This was done after the seven barangays namely, Bolbok, Malagonlong, Kayumanggi, Calamias, Mabini, San Francisco, and Lumbang undergone the sentinel protocol instituted by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), specifically through the Bantay ASF sa Baranggay Program.
In the said protocol, the identified ASF-infected areas are subjected to continuous cleaning and disinfecting for at least 30 days. There are also regular surveillance and testing activities to ensure the absence of virus strains. After that, sentinel pigs will be deployed in the area and if no outbreaks are detected within the period of 40 days, the subject barangay can be locally declared ASF-free by the concerned local government unit (LGU).
However, repopulation activities must still be regulated by the concerned LGU and the DA. According to Regional Livestock Program Focal Person Dr. Jerome G. Cuasay, the DA Region IV-CALABARZON supports barangays under quarantine protocol by providing sentinel pigs.
“Lipa City is the first to be partially released from quarantine and we hope that it will continue not only in Lipa and our region but throughout our country,” Dr. Cuasay said. #### (Radel F. Llagas, DA-4A RAFIS)