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Bird Flu: Another Pandemic Swallowing India

Delhi
Testing of eight samples sent to a Bhopal-based laboratory has confirmed bird flu in Delhi, officials said on Monday.

All eight samples — four from a park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3, three from Sanjay Lake and one from Dwarka — have been found positive for avian influenza, Dr Rakesh Singh from the animal husbandry unit of the Development Department said.

The report of the test results arrived on Monday morning, he said.

A drive to cull ducks has begun at the famous Sanjay Lake, where 10 ducks were found dead recently, Singh added.

Officials earlier said that around 50 crows had died in Central Park, Mayur Vihar Phase 3 in a span of three to four days.

A few samples were also sent to a lab in Jalandhar. Their results are awaited, Singh said.

The Delhi Development Authority has already closed Hauz Khas Park, Dwarka Sector 9 Park, Hastsal Park and Sanjay Lake as a precautionary measure in view of the bird flu scare.

Hauz Khas Park in south Delhi has a huge water body and attracts a large crowd every day. However, no death of birds has been reported there.

The poultry market in Ghazipur has also been shut down temporarily.


Maharashtra
Bird flu has been confirmed as the cause of death of around 900 hens in the last few days at a poultry farm in Maharashtra’s Parbhani district, a senior official said on Monday.

The district administration has now decided to cull nearly 8,000 birds in Murumba village where these hens died, Collector Deepak Muglikar told PTI.

Earlier, Muglikar on Saturday said around 900 hens had died at a poultry farm, run by a Self-Help Group (SHG), in the village and their samples were sent for testing.

“The cause of the death has been confirmed as bird flu. Hence, we have decided to cull all the birds in one-km radius of the place where these deaths took place,” the collector said.

“We have created a prohibitory zone in 10 km radius of the area where the birds died. No birds will be transported from there to any other place. Our medical team is stationed there and it is examining all people of the village,” he said.

There is no need to be panic and the district administration is taking all precautions.

The bird flu outbreak has already been confirmed in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

The central government on Sunday said it has directed zoo managements to submit daily reports to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) till their area is declared free from the disease.

The CZA, under the environment ministry, issued an office memorandum saying avian influenza is a scheduled disease under the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, and reporting such a disease is obligatory for taking appropriate preventive measures against its spread.


Dehradun
Amid an avian influenza scare in several states, nearly 200 birds, mostly crows, have been found dead in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun and Rishikesh, officials said on Monday.

A total of 165 birds were found dead in different parts of Dehradun on Sunday, including 121 crows in the Bhandari Bagh area only.

There were 162 crows, two pigeons and an eagle among the dead birds found in Dehradun, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Rajiv Dhiman said.

Chief Wildlife Warden JS Suhag said the samples of the dead birds have been sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Bareilly to ascertain the cause of their death.

More than 30 birds were found dead at different places in and around Rishikesh, triggering a bird-flu scare in the town.

Twenty-eight crows and a pigeon were found dead on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) premises, one avian death was reported from the Bees Bigha locality and two such deaths were reported from the Raiwala station, government veterinary officer Rajesh Raturi said.

The samples of the dead birds have been sent to the forest department for further action, he added.

Confirming the avian deaths, Rishikesh Municipal Commissioner Narendra Singh Quiriyal said a temporary ban on the sale of bird meat can also be imposed in public interest, if necessary.

Raturi said though 28 crows and a pigeon were found dead on the AIIMS premises, the security guards at the facility handed over the carcasses of only five crows and the pigeon to officials and buried the remaining ones as the birds were long dead.


Rishikesh
Over 30 birds have been found dead at different places in and around Rishikesh creating a bird flu scare in the town.

Twenty-eight crows and one pigeon were found dead in AIIMS, Rishikesh premises, one death was reported from Bees Bigha locality and two from Raiwala station, government veterinary officer Rajesh Raturi said.

Samples of the birds have been collected and sent to the forest department for further action, he said.

Confirming the deaths, Rishikesh Municipal Commissioner Narendra Singh Quiriyal said a temporary ban on sale of bird meat can also be imposed in public interest if necessary.

Raturi said though 28 crows and one pigeon were found dead in AIIMS Rishikesh premises, security guards at the facility handed over the carcasses of only five crows and one pigeon, burying the rest of them as they were in too bad shape.


Kanpur
The Kanpur Zoological Park has been closed for visitors till further orders after samples taken from two dead birds found there tested positive for the avian influenza virus, an official said on Sunday.

The area up to one kilometre of the zoo has been declared an infected zone and the culling of birds has begun there, said Additional District Magistrate (City) Atul Kumar.

“Four fowls and two parrots were found dead in the zoo in the last five days. Of these, two birds tested positive,” Kumar said.

According to the official, the samples of dead birds were sent to the animal disease laboratory in Bhopal which confirmed the presence of H-5 strain of bird flu in them.

The zoo has been closed for visitors and morning walkers. The hospital enclosure where the infected birds had been placed has also been shut down,” Kumar said.

An official said in the evening that nearly 50 birds have been culled in the district during a drive.

An area of 10 kilometres around the zoo has been cordoned off and declared containment zone for an indefinite period by the authorities and shops selling chicken and eggs there have been asked to down shutters for an indefinite period, an official said.

“We have imposed an indefinite ban on the transportation and entry of poultry products including live birds, unprocessed poultry meat in the district as a precautionary measure,” District Magistrate Alok Tiwari said.

“We have taken the decisions after marathon discussion with the officials of Kanpur zoo, health department, animal husbandry and veterinary doctors,” he said.

Meanwhile, section 144 of CrPC has been imposed to curb the spread of bird flu in the district, Kumar said.

The process of disinfecting all poultry farms in the radius of one kilometre of the zoo has started and teams have been formed to inspect shops selling raw chicken and mutton, he said.

Strict instructions have also been issued to make adequate arrangements for the disposal of dead birds, he added.

“We have also issued an advisory to keep a strict watch on unusual sickness or mortality in poultry birds and wild or migratory birds,” the ADM said.

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