ISLAMABAD - Capital Territory (ICT) administration has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the cattle markets opened in the city to prevent spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.

According to details, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad, the district administration, District Health Office, Ministry of Health Services Regulation and Coordination, Islamabad have finalized the SOPs to prevent and control spread of these communicable diseases.

As per these SOPs, the administrators of cattle markets have been directed to establish these markets at designated points (2-5 KM away from city limits) while their number and size would depend on the cattle base and transportation facilities.

It has also been directed to ensure that each market must have space for setting up a cattle farm, a well ventilated management office, medical and veterinary camps, spacious parking lots, separately for vehicles carrying cattle and for customers while separate entry and exit points for one way controlled movement under the SOPs.

The management will ensure controlled entry to the cattle market and the parking area will be marked as such to ensure that vehicles are parked at a safe distance from each other while no vehicle will be allowed to enter unless the space is available.

Only two people per vehicle/car will be allowed and elderly people and children may not be allowed to enter the market. People with fever or respiratory symptoms are advised not to visit the cattle markets.

Cattle will be kept in appropriately distanced areas and customers will not be allowed to mix up with them inside the farms.

Cattle would be pegged at distance inside the farms so that close gathering of customers could be avoided during the inspection of animals.

It has been directed that cattle markets should provide hand-hygiene facilities (hand-washing with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) at entry point and multiple other places within the market areas.

No person will be allowed to enter the market without a facemask either for sale/purchase of animals or staff involved in market management.

The customers have also been advised not to share facemasks or face covering with anyone, avoid touching the insides of a mask/face covering and use new mask immediately if the mask is soiled or becomes wet.

Use of gloves has also been recommended while touching the animals while cattle market management staff, sellers, buyers and visitors should not share personal items like writing pen, food utensils, pots, etc.

It has been reiterated in SOPs that the market premises should have functional toilets and hand-washing facility with essentially required supplies including soap, tissues and paper towels.

No handshake or hugging is allowed with anyone while gathering of more than five persons at one place within market premises would not be allowed.

Use of hand sanitizers has been highly recommended after exchange of currency bills, handling of cattle ropes and touching shared surfaces within the market.

It has been also advised that high touch surfaces like bars, table etc. should be cleaned with detergent and disinfected with 0.1% Hypochlorite solution frequently.

Proper waste collection and disposal arrangements should be ensured.

Thermal scanning of the market staff and visitors by trained personnel would be ensured at entry points.

Medical camps with adequate staffing, equipment and PPE will be established at cattle markets by concerned District Health Authority.

Any person detected with high temperature will be referred to medical camps for further assessment. Staff and visitors suffering from cough would be immediately separated and referred for further assessment.