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2 QC barangays under quarantine due to ASF cases, Dar confirms

Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Friday confirmed that two barangays in Quezon City which were found to have cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been placed under quarantine.

"[M]ay dalawang area, isa sa Payatas at isa sa Bagong Silang. So mayroon pa outbreaks po, Sec. Mart [Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar] dito sa areas na ito. So under quarantine na rin itong dalawang areas sa Quezon City," Dar said in a radio interview with Andanar and PCOO Assistant Secretary JV Arcena.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier confirmed that samples taken from some hogs in the two barangays tested positive for ASF.

Andanar, meanwhile, assured consumers that pork meat is still safe to eat.

"[I]lan beses po'ng ni-remind ni Secretary William Dar na hindi po ito nakakaapekto sa tao [...]. So iyong baboy po na kakainin, hindi po ito nakakahawa sa tao," Andanar said.

Dar confirmed that the disease is not transferable, adding that it was safe as long as the proper procedure was followed.

"[I]tong tamang proseso na ito, iyong mga baboy ay dadalhin sa slaughterhouse at bago katayin ay susuriin po ng beterinaryo at kung ito ay walang sakit, ito na iyong bibigyan ng clearance na kakatayin," Dar said.

After the pork has been chopped, it will be branded with the National Meat Inspection Service trademark and will be given a certificate allowing the meat to be sold at the market, he added.

Though ASF poses no threat to human health, people may unwittingly help transmit the virus, according to the Department of Health.

According to Dar, initial findings showed that food waste from hotels in Metro Manila and restaurants were collected when they reached the dumping site in Rodriguez, Rizal and then sold to hog raisers.

"[I[to iyong suspetsa natin na iyong mga food waste na galing doon sa mga hotels o restaurants ay carrier na ng African swine fever virus," he said. —Joahna Lei Casilao/KG, GMA News