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West Bengal: Government speeds up culling operations
January 25, 2008 02:41 IST
Poultry deaths due to the dreaded bird flu reached over 1.18 lakh in West Bengal on Thursday as the culling operations were sped up with teams fanning out to three more districts.
The culling operations started in Malda, Cooch Behar and Hooghly districts of the state on Thursday, Union animal husbandry commissioner S K Bandhopadhyay said.
The total number of poultry culled reached 6,65,633, he said, adding the virus was not detected in any fresh areas.
When asked about whether there is any proposal to increase the compensation, Bandhopadhyay said, "There is nothing on paper".
The Commissioner said that it would take six to seven days to complete the culling operations, provided the virus does not spread to new areas. The number of birds to be culled as per the latest estimate is 24 lakhs.
The source of the virus has not been detected yet, he said, adding Bhutan has banned poultry imports from India.
Meanwhile, allaying fears of any human cases, the Union health ministry said persons suffering from upper respiratory infection or fever were being monitored.
Health care facilities have been identified with isolation wards and critical health care facilities for management of human cases of Avian Influenza.
"The animal health staff involved in the culling and sanitation operations and those involved in human health surveillance are being provided chemoprophylaxis and their health status is being monitored," the ministry said.
"No suspected human cases of avian influenza have been detected. Five samples tested so far have been reported negative," it added.
The Ministry has also initiated the IEC campaign to sensitise the community through the visual and print media. This includes broadcast of spots on private and government owned FM channels in West Bengal.