No need to panic over bird flu: Delhi govt

Taking no chance:A veterinary department worker takes preventive measures at the Ghazipur market on Friday.Photo: PTI  

Reassuring the public, the Delhi government has said that the strain of the bird flu or avian influenza virus in the Capital is not harmful for humans.

Delhi Animal Husbandry Minister Gopal Rai said that the H5N8 virus was found in samples from the three birds that died at the Delhi zoo, and not the H5N1 virus.

“There is no need to panic as all measures are in place to deal with the situation. H5N8 influenza has been found in the samples of three birds that died recently. Experts say that the H5N8 is not harmful for humans. It has been found in the US, Japan, Netherlands, China and other countries where humans remained unaffected,” the Minister said on Friday.

“We have sent samples of the dead ducks to a laboratory in Bhopal. So far, 24 bird deaths have been reported from different places,” he added.

On Friday, the State government made the health certificate mandatory for poultry transported to the Ghazipur market.

Gopal Rai at poultry market

The direction was issued after Gopal Rai visited the poultry market. According to him, there is no indication of the avian virus having infected the 2.2 lakh chickens that arrived at the market since morning.

Also a 15-member committee comprising poultry traders, doctors and market association officials has been constituted to ensure enforcement of the provision in the market. Later, the Minister chaired a meeting with officials and said that a 23-member committee will coordinate work among various departments and probe the reasons behind the bird deaths.

“We have decided to build a medicated subway at the entry gate of the Ghazipur market, which will have medicines mixed with water. Every truck entering the market will have to pass through this water which will help control the infection,’’ he added.

“The vehicle owners will have to get a certificate about the medical fitness of the poultry they carry to the Ghazipur market. This will be strictly enforced from Sunday. Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the market without the certificate,’’ Mr Rai said.

He has also written to the Ministers of Animal Husbandry in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan after the virus was detected in migratory birds. Noting that there was continuous movement of migratory birds from Haryana, UP and Rajasthan, which are adjacent to Delhi, Mr Rai said in his letter, “I would request you to kindly sensitise the authorities concerned and issue required instructions to monitor the situation.”

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 2:01:22 PM |

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