Three crow carcasses were found near the water body at Shakti Sthal near Rajghat on Monday taking the toll due to suspected bird flu to 80.
According to an animal husbandry department official, the lake around which the bird deaths have been recorded has been quarantined. “The crow carcasses were found at different places around this lake. All the four sites – Shakti Sthal, Delhi zoo, Hauz Khas Deer Park and district park in Paschim Vihar – from where samples have tested positive for H5N8 avian flu, are shut and being monitored closely,” he told HT.
After the deaths stop, every 15 days tests will be done and these spots won’t be reopened until authorities are completely sure that these are virus-free.
Delhi development minister Gopal Rai last week met the coordination committee formed to combat bird flu to discuss the measures to be taken by the government.
“The minister asked all agencies having any water bodies under their jurisdiction to maintain strict vigil. Action will be taken if there is any lapse on their part,” the official said.
All government departments have been asked to spread lime powder around every water body. Officials are also spraying anti-virus sodium hypochlorite on birds.
A team of scientists from National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune have already visited the Delhi zoo, which is being referred to as ground zero, and collected samples, sensitised and trained zoo staff about biosecurity measures against avian influenza. Now they are conducting a genome study to ascertain the cause and origin of this H5N8 virus. Those who are handling dead birds are being given tamiflu. Spots where migratory birds come are also being closely monitored.
Test results have come back as “negative” from samples sent from poultry at Ghazipur murga mandi. The Delhi government had on last Monday issued an 11-point health advisory that asked people to avoid direct contact with bird secretions and carcasses, consume only completely cooked chicken and eggs.