The confirmation of bird flu in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala has alerted the Central government with Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying setting up a control room in New Delhi to take stock of the situation on a daily basis and assess the preventive and control measures undertaken by state authorities.
“In view of a threat of a global outbreak of AI, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Government of India had prepared an action plan in 2005 which was revised in 2006, 2012 , 2015 and 2021 for the guidance of State Government for prevention, control and containment of Avian Influenza in the country,” the government said in a statement.
“Following post-operation surveillance plan (POSP) after completion of Avian Influenza outbreak control in 2020 and containment operation at different epicentres, the country freedom from AI was declared w.e.f. September 30, 2020. In view of the past experience regarding the reports of the disease in the winter season, periodic advisories have been issued to all states/UTs before the commencement of winter for keeping necessary vigil, enhancing surveillance, keeping strategic reserves of supplies (PPE kits, etc.), preparedness to handle eventualities and IEC for public awareness,” added the statement.
The government noted that there is no direct evidence that bird flu can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products. “Implementing management practices that incorporate biosecurity principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards, are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses,” said the statement.
Bird flu has been declared as a state-specific disaster in Kerala and a high alert has been issued after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in certain parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
In Himachal Pradesh, around 1,800 migratory birds, most of them bar-headed geese, have been found dead in the Pong Dam Lake sanctuary. In Rajasthan, deaths of more than 170 new birds were reported from some districts on Monday, taking the total fatalities in recent days to over 425.
In Indore, 152 crows were found dead and bird flu was confirmed in 12 crows. An alert has been issued near Daily College in the city. A survey was conducted in the nearby areas. The Indore Zoo has also been put on high alert and medicines are being sprayed.