Two more bird deaths have been reported from the water body near Shakti Sthal in Raj Ghat, pushing the toll to 66. The government has shut down Shakti Sthal as a precautionary measure as it did with the Delhi zoo and the Hauz Khas district park.
After visiting the spot and meeting officials, Delhi development minister Gopal Rai said the memorial will remain shut till they get the lab reports of the dead birds.
Rai later met Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and asked him to direct the Centre-run laboratories in Jalandhar and Bhopal to expedite the test reports so that the city government can take preventive steps.
“Since October 19, the Delhi government has sent 34 samples and 51 samples of dead birds to both labs in Jalandhar and Bhopal respectively, but there is a delay in getting the reports. Out of 81 samples, we have just got reports of 27 samples. I have urged the Union agriculture minister to instruct these two labs to send sample reports to the Delhi government at the earliest,” Rai said.
The committee constituted by the Centre to monitor the avian flu situation said no bird deaths have been reported from Delhi or Gwalior zoos in the last 24 hours, even as the Union Health Ministry issued a health alert to states.
Flu spreads in Kerala
Meanwhile, the virus has been reported to be found in ducks in coastal Alappuzha district in Kerala,prompting the district administration to take various measures, including forming Quick Response Teams.
The outbreak of the virus in ducks in the state has been confirmed after tests at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases at Bhopal, an official statement said. Cases of avian influenza have been reported from Thakazhi, Ramankari, Pandi, Pallippad and Kainadi, it added ,
The statement also said there was no cause for panic among the public. Some farmers claimed they had lost a number of ducks.
“Twenty quick response teams have been constituted to isolate the ducks affected by H5N8 virus and cull them,” District Collector Veena N Madhavan said.
The state animal husbandry department advised people suffering from fever or cold not to handle the birds.
It is suspected that the migratory birds, which came from Siberia via Pakistan and Delhi, might have brought the virus to coastal Kerala, the statement said. Meanwhile, Alappuzha MP K C Venugopal urged the Union govt to assist the state in dealing with the crisis.
With PTI inputs