UPDATE : 2019.10.13 SUN 11:28
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S. Korea announces 48-hour standstill amid 14th African swine fever case

South Korea's agricultural ministry on Thursday announced a 48-hour lockdown on all pig farms in a town north of Seoul, where the country's 14th African swine fever (ASF) case was confirmed a day earlier.

The movement ban on all pig farms in Yeoncheon, north of Seoul, went into effect earlier in the day, according to the Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Rural Affairs.

South Korea confirmed its 14th outbreak of ASF on Wednesday, after a hiatus of five days. It also marked the second case from the town near the border with North Korea.

So far, all confirmed ASF cases came from north of Seoul, adjacent to the border.

As South Korea's quarantine authorities are doubling disinfection efforts to stem the nationwide spread of African swine fever, the ministry also designated a so-called "buffer zone" near the areas with infected farms.

Within the buffer zone, which covers northern areas of Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces, all automobiles involved in the livestock industry are banned from visiting pig farms.

Automobiles carrying pig feed from south of Seoul are restricted from entering the buffer zone as well, the ministry added.

The ministry plans to implement intensive disinfection operations in the buffer zone to prevent the virus from spreading to the southern parts of the country.

Quarantine officials plan to carry out a closer monitoring on pig farms in the buffer zone as well, considering the incubation period of ASF is estimated at three weeks.

Although ASF is not harmful for people, it is fatal for pigs, with no cure currently available. (Yonhap)

Cho Kyung-hee  edt@koreapost.com

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