Bird flu: Delhi becomes ninth state to confirm Avian Influenza cases after eight samples test positive

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

FP Staff January 11, 2021 16:56:29 IST
Bird flu: Delhi becomes ninth state to confirm Avian Influenza cases after eight samples test positive

Avian Influenza has been detected in the samples of dead migratory birds at Pong dam lake in Himachal Pradesh. ANI

Delhi became the ninth state to confirm cases of bird flu on Monday after eight samples from birds tested positive for Avian Influenza on Monday morning.

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.

However, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia claimed that only the samples taken from ducks in the Sanjay Lake tested positive for Avian Influenza. "Only samples of duck from Sanjay Lake have tested positive for bird flu. There is no cause for concern. Reports of other samples are awaited," Sisodia said at a press briefing.

"The Delhi government is making all efforts to check the spread of bird flu and monitoring the situation. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is constantly in touch with officials. There is no need to panic as bird flu does not spread from one person to another," he said. He added that the area was sanitised after the samples of ducks from there tested positive for bird flu.

Sisodia also listed steps taken by the Delhi government to prevent the spread of the disease, especially since park areas in the National Capital have reported several deaths among crows and ducks in the last week.

On Sunday, seventeen ducks were found dead at Sanjay Lake, prompting authorities to declare it an "alert zone", PTI reported. Singh said that a drive to cull ducks has begun in the area.

Additionally, 91 crows have been found dead in 14 Delhi Development Authority (DDA) parks in Begumpur, Sarita Vihar, Dilshad Garden, and Dwarka in the last week, officials said. A few days ago, around 50 crows were found dead in Central Park, Mayur Vihar Phase 3, they added.

In view of this, Sisodia said that the Delhi government has decided to ban sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city as a precautionary measure. The poultry market in Ghazipur has been temporarily shut down.

Three other recreational parks in Delhi — Hauz Khas Park, Dwarka Sector 9 Park, Hastsal Park — were closed on Saturday. Barring Hastsal Park and Sanjay Lake, other parks were reopened after disinfection on Sunday, PTI reported.

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.

On Saturday, Kejriwal was quoted by NDTV as saying, "Rapid response teams have been formed in every district. The focus is particularly on the poultry markets in Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Lake, and Hauz Khas."

The other states that have confirmed cases of Avian Influenza are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat.

The Centre has asked the chief secretaries of all states and Union territories to keep watch on the situation and communicate efficiently with health officials in a bid to avoid the spread of the disease in humans. The officials have also been instructed to monitor water bodies, bird markets, zoos, and poultry farms.

"States have also been told to ensure availability of PPE kits and accessories to be used to cull birds and dispose of carcases and bird waste. They have also been asked to tackle rumours that influence poultry product consumers. They are expected to increase awareness about their safety, especially after the products are boiled or cooked," the report said.

Bird flu also confirmed in Mumbai, Thane, Surat

Avian Influenza has also been confirmed as the cause of death of different birds in Parbhani, Mumbai, Thane, Beed and Dapoli in Maharashtra, as per test reports of a Bhopal-based lab, a state government official was quoted as saying on Monday.

However, it is "absolutely safe" to consume eggs or chicken as the virus cannot withstand cooking temperatures, and people need not worry as infection to humans due to bird flu is "rarest of rare", state animal husbandry department secretary Anoop Kumar told PTI.

The official also said they will be increasing bio-safety measures in poultry farms so that there is no interface with wild birds.

Officials in Gujarat's Surat and Vadodara also confirmed bird flu cases as some samples of dead crows have tested positive. Samples of four crows collected from two places at Bardoli taluka in Surat on 6 January were sent to a Bhopal-based laboratory, Nilam Dave, deputy director of animal husbandry department, Surat, said.

"They have tested positive for the bird flu," he added.

With inputs from PTI

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