Bird flu: Delhi govt bans sale of processed, packaged chicken brought from outside city

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) The Delhi government on Monday imposed a ban on sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city, as samples of ducks from Sanjay Lake tested positive for bird flu.

Only samples of ducks from Sanjay Lake have tested positive for bird flu so far, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Monday, asking people not to panic as there is no cause for concern.

However, officials said eight samples from three areas in Delhi, sent to a Bhopal-based laboratory, tested positive for avian influenza.

All eight samples -- four from a park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3, three from Sanjay Lake and one from Dwarka -- have been found positive for avian influenza, said Dr Rakesh Singh from the Animal Husbandry Unit of the Delhi government's Development Department.

In a press briefing, Sisodia said results of 100 samples that have been sent to a Jalandhar lab are awaited.

'Only samples of ducks from Sanjay Lake have tested positive for bird flu. There is no cause for concern. Reports of other samples are awaited,' he said.

Sisodia said Sanjay Lake area was sanitised after the samples of ducks from there tested positive for bird flu.

The Delhi government has also decided to ban sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city as a precautionary measure, he said.

'Also, there is a ban on selling packaged chicken or processed chicken from outside to Delhi to prevent infection from one state to another. But there is no need to panic about bird flu. It is a common influenza,' he said.

People who eat chicken and eggs should also not panic as there is no risk of infection from fully cooked chicken or boiled and cooked eggs, the deputy CM said.

The Delhi government is making all efforts to check the spread of bird flu and monitoring the situation, he said.

'Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is closely monitoring the Avian flu situation and is getting updates from the officials concerned. There is no reason to worry about bird flu in Delhi,' Sisodia said.

'Processed chicken and livestock from other states have been banned as a precautionary measure. Ghazipur poultry market has also been closed down for 10 days due to bird flu,' he said.

Officers of the Animal Husbandry Unit, Development Department, have been directed to carry out intensive campaigns across the national capital. The Delhi government had issued an alert to all the doctors and people concerned on October 28, 2020 and issued a directive to monitor bird flu.

Following this, a guideline was issued to all doctors for continuous sample collection and strict monitoring on January 4.

'Doctors of all 48 veterinary hospitals of the Animal Husbandry Unit are continuously monitoring bird flu across Delhi. Also, 11 rapid response teams have been set up which are continuously collecting samples,' the government said in a statement. PTI VIT CK