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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Centre sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor bird flu situation
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Centre sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor bird flu situation

The inter-ministerial committee will be headed by the joint commissioner of the animal husbandry department under the agriculture ministry

According to the agriculture ministry, of the 45 samples collected from Delhi and tested in Bhopal’s National High Security Lab for Animal Diseases, 13 have tested positive for the H5N8 virus. Photo: ReutersPremium
According to the agriculture ministry, of the 45 samples collected from Delhi and tested in Bhopal’s National High Security Lab for Animal Diseases, 13 have tested positive for the H5N8 virus. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: The centre on Wednesday set up an inter-ministerial committee and a round-the-clock control room to monitor the bird flu situation and assist states in containing its spread.

According to the agriculture ministry, of the 45 samples collected from Delhi and tested in Bhopal’s National High Security Lab for Animal Diseases, 13 have tested positive for the H5N8 virus.

The inter-ministerial committee will be headed by the joint commissioner of the animal husbandry department under the agriculture ministry and will have representatives from the health and environment ministries and the Delhi government.

The panel will keep constant vigil on the situation and assist states to contain its spread, according to an official statement.

The statement adds that besides Delhi, “test results have been given for other cases in Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh", and disease incidence is under control in other states.

According to the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health, H5N8 avian influenza is a disease of birds, caused by Type A influenza viruses, which can affect domestic poultry as well as pet birds, wild migratory birds and waterfowl. However, there are no known cases of H5N8 in human beings and the risk to general public is low.

On Tuesday, the centre issued an advisory to states asking them to minimize bird-human interface after birds in Delhi, Gwalior and Kerala tested positive for H5N8. On 17 October, several birds died at a Delhi zoo, followed by deaths in six other areas of Delhi. A week later, on Monday, the Delhi government issued an advisory asking people not to eat undercooked chicken or eggs and avoid direct contact with bird secretions.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantan Bera
Sayantan is a National Writer with the Long Story team at Mint, covering food and nutrition, agriculture, and rural economy. His reportage is based on granular ground reports, tying it with broader macroeconomic realities, with a sharp focus on people and livelihoods. Beyond rural issues, Sayantan has written deep dives on topics spanning healthcare, gender, education, and science.
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Published: 27 Oct 2016, 01:05 AM IST
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