Azerbaijan expanding measures to combat coronavirus
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 3
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have come to the conclusion that the newly widespread novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is of animal origin, Trend reports on Feb. 3 referring to the Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency.
The epidemic of the current virus and similar epidemics which were spreading in the past, namely, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are associated with animals and products of animal origin, in particular, fish and seafood, the agency said.
The origin of the name of the family of viruses is connected with the fact that according to the anatomical structure they have the shape of a “crown” and often lead to the spread of zoonotic infections. The indicated virus is genetically different from all other coronaviruses and is notable for its rapid spread among people.
The OIE Scientific Committee and the Working Group on Wildlife began collaborative research and recommended to set up an emergency department in accordance with the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code and advised member-states to urgently notify OIE representatives through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS).
In this regard, Azerbaijan began to discuss this issue with OIE representatives and undertook to periodically inform the organization of proactive measures which are taken against the spread of this coronavirus in the country.
A roadmap is being developed for the research and control of 2019-nCoV virus upon a joint OIE-WHO initiative.
The Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency imposed a temporary ban on the import of animals (including animals for the zoo and wild animals), as well as fish and seafood into the country within the fight against the virus.
The regional branches of the Agency as well as the laboratories of the Azerbaijan Food Safety Institute have begun to work intensively.
At the same time, together with the relevant organizations, the measures are being taken to prepare a list of food products having the risk of transmitting of the virus. The control measures are being taken in the shops. The control over bird hunting and their consumption has been strengthened.