New Delhi: Amid the bird flu scare, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi on Saturday (January 9, 2021) announced to ban the import of live birds and also closed the Ghazipur poultry market for 10 days.

CM Kejriwal took to his official Twitter account and said, “The import of live birds is being banned in Delhi. The Ghazipur poultry market will remain closed for 10 days.” 

He informed that there is no confirmed case of bird flu in the national capital so far and stated, “We have sent around 104 samples to a lab in Jalandhar, the reports will come by day after tomorrow. The Delhi government will take the necessary decision based on reports.”

Meanwhile, at least 24 crows have been found dead at a park in South Delhi’s Jasola area in the past three days. While a total of 10 ducks were found dead at the famous Sanjay Lake and as many as seven crows were found dead at the Central Park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3. 

Taking cognisance of the situation, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has instructed officials to maintain a strict vigil on birds at major bird sites, especially poultry markets, water bodies, zoos and other potential hotspots.

According to the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying on Saturday, positive cases of Avian Influenza in migratory birds were reported in Shivpuri, Rajgarh, Shajapur, Agar, Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh, Zoological Park at Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur and Pratapgarh and Dausa districts of Rajasthan. 

The Department has issued an advisory to the affected states so as to avoid further spread of disease. So far, the disease has been confirmed from seven states namely Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

Reports of unusual mortality of birds have also been received from Chhattisgarh’s Balod district. The state has constituted RRT teams for emergency situation and also sent the samples to designated laboratory.

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This is to be noted that the Avian Influenza viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century. India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006 and infection in humans is not yet reported in Indians, though the disease is zoonotic.

In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into the country during winter months from September – October to February – March.

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