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Don't worry over bird flu: Govt tells Lok Sabha
February 20, 2006 14:24 IST
The government Monday assured Lok Sabha that there is no cause for public concern over the outbreak of bird flu in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra and said it is keeping a close watch on the situation.
"There is no cause for panic. The government is keeping a close watch on the situation. Other states have also been alerted to remain vigilant," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said while making a suo motu statement regarding outbreak of the avian influenza.
Observing that the samples from poultry in the affected area have been tested positive for H5N1 strain of avian influenza, Pawar said a series of strategic actions have been initiated immediately on confirmation of the disease.
The actions include declaration of infected and surveillance areas, absolute ban on movement of poultry or its products in infected areas, closure of poultry and egg markets and shops and destruction of affected poultry followed by proper disposal.
The Centre, he said, has rushed vaccines to Maharashtra for poultry, Tamiflu for humans and personal protective equipment.
Rapid response teams of animal husbandry department and health and family welfare ministry have been rushed to affected areas, Pawar said adding, health ministry teams were carrying out surveillance of human population in the area.
Pawar pointed out that as per World Health Organisation recommendations, poultry and poultry products can be safely consumed if cooked to 70 degrees in all parts of the food.
He said it was a policy of the government to compensate for loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds.
The Centre will share cost of compensation on 50:50 basis with state governments, the minister said.
Maintaining that the present outbreak was localised to a limited area in Navapur taluka of Nandurbar district in Maharashtra, he said containment operations will extend to cover some poultry in adjoining areas in Uchchhal tehsil of Surat district in Gujarat.