New Delhi: Amid the raging coronavirus pandemic that has grappled the country in its fist, Assam is now battling another deadly disease – the African Swine Fever (ASF). At least 2,800 pigs have died in the northeastern state since February when the viral infection erupted. Also Read - Lockdown 4.0: 208 New Cases Take Bengal's Tally to 3,667; Flights to Resume From Kolkata on May 28

Expressing concern over the increased cases of ASF, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked the veterinary and forest departments to draw a broad roadmap to deal with the situation. Also Read - Coronavirus Lockdown: 20-year-old Labourer From Assam Commits Suicide in Surat

Sonowal also urged the departments to work in close synergy with the National Pig Research Centre (NPRC) to tide over the crisis hitting the piggery sector, an official release said. Also Read - On India's Request, Myanmar Hands Over 22 Northeast Insurgents Long-wanted in Manipur And Assam; Special Plane Bringing Them Back

Notably, in most cases, ASF cases have a 100 per cent mortality rate of domestic pigs.

The Assam government has asked the concerned officials to conduct ‘threat-mapping’ and undertake containment measures across the state. The government will announce a bailout package after taking stock of the situation to save the farmers from penury, Sonowal said.

On Sunday, Veterinary Minister Atul Bora had said the disease was detected towards the end of February this year, but it started in April 2019 at a village in Xizang province of China bordering Arunachal Pradesh.

He said the Assam government will not cull pigs immediately and look for an alternative option to prevent the spread of the disease.

With PTI inputs