921 more birds dead in Maharashtra, count soars to 15,445
The bird death count is on the rise in Maharashtra. On Saturday, 921 bird deaths were reported including those of 814 poultry birds, pushing the count to 15,445 in the last 16 days, as the first set of bird deaths were reported on January 8.
Of 814 poultry birds, 289 bird deaths were reported in Jalgaon, 200 in Buldhana, 78 in Yavatmal, 70 in Beed, 52 in Amravati, 39 in Solapur, 19 in Thane, 17 in Raigad, 15 in Gondia, 11 in Hingoli, 9 in Nagpur, 7 in Satara, 4 in Osmanabad, 3 in Jalna and one in Akola were found dead.
The state animal husbandry department found mortalities in 53 other birds such as herons, sparrows, parrots in Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri, Pune, Satara, Ahmednagar, Nanded and Chandrapur.
The samples of birds have been sent to the ICAR-National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, a nodal body for testing bird flu cases, to confirm the cause, said state animal husbandry commissioner Sachindra Pratap Singh.
The ICAR-NIHSAD has confirmed bird flu deaths in poultry birds in eleven districts till date. The state has culled and destroyed a total 39,483 poultry birds, 8 ducks, 35,515 eggs and 53,046 kg of poultry feed so far.
The Central government has also communicated to the state government that avian influenza virus cannot survive if cooked or boiled at a temperature of 70-degree Celsius in three seconds, and properly cooked chicken and boiled eggs are safe for human consumption, states the release. The government has issued an appeal to the citizens that they should not consume raw, half-cooked poultry meat or eggs. They have also directed chicken shop owners to strictly use gloves, a mask covering mouth and nose, stringent hygiene practices in the shop and to maintain social distancing norms.