Chickens dying in Assam
First it was Maharashtra, then Gujarat and now Assam. Guwahati sounded a bird flu alert on Sunday following the death of around 1,000 chickens in two villages over the weekend. This is still a scare.india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:16 IST
First it was Maharashtra, then Gujarat and now Assam. Guwahati sounded a bird flu alert on Sunday following the death of around 1,000 chickens in two villages over the weekend. This is still a scare.
With no reports yet of the virus getting to humans, India is slowly and gradually getting bolder. Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said on Sunday people must go back to eating chicken, and with a vengeance as they have to compensate for the days they went off it.
"Let vegetarians eat vegetables or grass," he said in Latur, adding, "Start consuming chickens with full fervour so that the backlog of the past fortnight when poultry consumption had stopped be completed."
There are reports that people are doing just that. Restuarants in Delhi, at least, have started reporting the return of chicken-eaters - some, of course, boasted that they never stopped coming in the first place.
"As long as it is cooked well," said Sanjay Vohra, a Green Park resident, "there is no reason to worry about bird flu or anything else." He never went off chicken, he claims.
But Assam was not prepared to let down its guards. Not yet. A government spokesman said that the death of birds has been reported from two riverine islands in the eastern district of Tinsukia, 550 km from Guwahati.
Tinsuklia district magistrate Sanjay Kumar said, "We have alerted the people and rushed medical and veterinary teams to the two islands after we got reports of the deaths of a large number of poultry in the area.
Assam is now going off chicken and eggs as did the rest of the country following reports of confirmed flu among birds in Navapur.