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New Delhi: Central government on Saturday issued status report of avian influenza in the country, saying the disease has been confirmed in seven states.

"After confirmation of avian influenza positive samples from ICAR-NIHSAD in poultry (two poultry farms) of Panchkula district, Haryana, positive cases of avian influenza in migratory birds were reported in Shivpuri, Rajgarh, Shajapur, Agar, Vidisha districts of Madhya Pradesh, Zoological Park, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and Pratapgarh and Dausa districts of Rajasthan. The Department has issued advisory to the affected states so as to avoid further spread of disease. So far, the disease has been confirmed from seven states (Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh)," said Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD) in an official release.

Reports of unusual mortality of birds have been received from Chhattisgarh in the night of 8 January and morning of 9 January in poultry and wild birds in Balod district, Chhattisgarh. The state has constituted RRT teams for emergency situation and also sent the samples to designated laboratory.

Further, reports of unusual mortality in ducks have also been received from Sanjay Lake, Delhi. Samples have been sent to the designated laboratory for testing. Samples of dead crows have also been sent to NIHSAD from Mumbai, Thane, Dapoli, Parbhani and Beed districts of Maharashtra for confirmation of avian influenza, said government.

Meanwhile, culling operations have been completed in both the affected districts of Kerala and post operational surveillance programme guidelines have been issued to the state of Kerala. Central teams have been deployed to visit the affected states of Kerala, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for monitoring and the teams for epidemiological investigation have reached Kerala.

In a communication to the Chief Secretaries /administrators of the states/UTs, Secretary DAHD requested state Animal Husbandry departments to ensure effective communication and coordination with health authorities for close vigilance of the disease status and avoid any chances of jumping of the disease into humans. Besides increasing surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc. proper disposal of carcass, and strengthening of bio-security in poultry farms have to be ensured. States were also requested to be prepared for any eventuality of avian influenza and were requested to ensure sufficient stock of PPE kits and accessories required for culling operations. Chief secretaries/administrators were requested to arrange to issue appropriate advisories to quell consumer reactions, affected by rumours and increase awareness regarding safety of poultry or poultry products that are safe for consumption following boiling/ cooking procedures. The DAHD’s support to the states was also ensured.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced a ban on import of live birds in the national capital and closure of Ghazipur poultry market for the next 10 days in view of bird flu scare.

Noting that there is no confirmed case of avian influenza in Delhi so far, the chief minister said samples have been sent to Jalandhar laboratory.

"There is no confirmed case of bird flu in Delhi so far. We have sent around 104 samples to a lab in Jalandhar, the reports will come by day after tomorrow. The Delhi government will take the necessary decision based on reports," Kejriwal said at a press conference.

"The import of live birds is being banned in Delhi. The Ghazipur poultry market will remain closed for 10 days," he added.

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