The Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) has shared some preventative measures for all livestock auctions across the country during lockdown.
The Minister in her media briefing on 24 March 2020 confirmed that the agriculture and food supply sector is one of the essential systems for livelihood and therefore will remain uncompromised and operational.
Francois Knowles, Registrar at the Agricultural Produce Agents Council, said that all live auctions of livestock and sale of other agricultural commodities will continue unperturbed but subject to the strict conditions as prescribed by the President.
The following preventative measures at auctions are proposed:
Clearly marked boards and communication should be visibly placed to inform on the risks and associated Covid-19 measures.
Auctioneers must verbally inform attendees of the auction about the risks and associated Covid-1 9 measures,
There should be no more than 100 people attending the physical auction and social distancing should be strictly applied.
Personal hygiene of all staff and customers are crucial and should adhere to the following:
- Sanitizer and handwash basins should be strategically placed at the auction facility.
- Hands are to be washed on a regular basis for at least 20 seconds.
- One meter of personal distancing should be observed.
- Personal contact between individuals should be avoided at all cost.
- Alhen sneezing, the individual’s mouth should be covered beforehand to avoid spreading the spray.
- At the checkout point and when using a card machine, both the card and machine should be sanitized after each transaction.
- All surfaces must be cleaned with disinfectant regularly. This includes
- Wiping all handrails that are touched, with disinfectant containing an alcohol base.
He said that any person at the auction, albeit an employee or visitor that shows any signs of infection, should be referred for testing and reported to the relevant authorities.
Knowles said the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) will continuously monitor the conduct of auctions and will advise if there is a change in the status of auctions and/or rules and regulations that apply to such proceedings.