Samples test positive for bird flu; culling to start today
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 25: The worst fear has come true.

The samples that were sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal and the National Institute of Virology, Pune have tested positive for bird flu.

The official confirmation of the report was received by the State Government today 12.15 pm from the Secretary of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Union Ministry of Agriculture.

Even as the bird flu report was received slaughtered chicken put up for sale in Imphal and the equipmentsarriving at the airport and Vety Dir briefing the media

The samples were sent to Bhopal and Pune in batches starting from July 11 after 132 fowls in a poultry farm located at Chingmeirong Khongnang Ani Karak in Imphal East died one after the day.

The report from the Centre stated that the virus strain found in the samples is the H5 type.

Speaking to the media, Director of the State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, Th Dorendro said that as soon as the report was received, the Chief Minister convened an emergency meeting at his office chamber at 12.30 pm.

A number of Ministers and officials including Health Minister Ph Parijat, Veterinary Minister DD Thaisii, MLAs of the ACs which fall within the five kms radius from the said farm, Chief Secretary, DGP, Principal Secretary (Revenue), Veterinary Secretary, Finance Commissioner, Health Director, Veterinary Director and the DCs of Imphal East and Imphal West.

Joint Commissioner in the Union Ministry of Agriculture, AB Negi, who has been camping at Imphal for the last many days was also present at the meeting.

As soon as the official report from Delhi was received, the Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries arrived at Imphal today.

Th Dorendro said that culling will start from tomorrow in areas lying within a radius of 5 kms from the said farm.

Compensation of Rs 40 each for Layer variety, Rs 30 for Broiler and Rs 10 for chicks have been fixed.

Poultry feeds will also be destroyed and the compensation has been fixed at Rs 6 per kg.

The compensation will be borne by the DRDA of Imphal East and West and it will be borne equally between the Centre and the State Government.

In Imphal West where the culling will take place from tomorrow are Thangmeiband, Lilashing Khongnangkhong, Lamphel and Lagol Tarung while at Imphal East the culling will cover Chingmeirong, Mantripukhri, Deulaland and Lairikyengbam Leikai.

Ten teams each of Rapid Response Team will be pressed into service at Imphal East and West, said the Director and added that each team consists of five personnel.

The Rapid Response Team from Thoubal and Bishnupur districts have also been summoned to Imphal and they are kept stationed here, added Th Dorendro.

As instructed earlier, the district administration of Imphal East and West have kept the JCBs on the ready apart from labour, lime, salt and other ingredients needed for the culling exercise.

The Veterinary Director also took care to mention that after the death of 132 fowls at the said farm, no other deaths have been reported from the nearby areas.

Lodging for the RRT personnel is also ready, said Dorendro.

Surveillance will be intensified, said the Director and a quarantine station has been opened at the Veterinary office.

A control room which will be opened 24 hours a day has also been opened.

The public can contact the control room on telephone number 2454928. Talking about the measures being taken up, Dorendro said that the State has four thousand Personal Protective Equipments while 500 more have been air lifted.

Twenty fogging machines have also been air lifted while one thousand and eight hundred N-95 masks have also arrived at the State.

Ten sprayers each will be put into service at Imphal East and West.

Within the five km radius, the number of chicken has been roughly estimated to be about 1 lakh 20 thousand while the number of ducks has been pegged at 30 thousand.

The population of people within the said 5 km radius is about one three lakhs while the number of households is about 60,000. Apart from the Joint Commissioner of the Union Ministry of Agriculture and the Assistant Commissioner who arrived today an official from the NICD has been stationed here from before.

Appealing to the public to extend their co-operation, Dorendro urged the people, especially those running back yard poultry to help in the culling process and to even bring the fowls to the RRT personnel.

The Director however cautioned the people to wear a mask and to cover their hands while bringing the birds.

The Health Department is also fully geared up to meet any eventuality.

Health Secretary P Vaiphei said that 40 RRT units are being kept on the ready with 20 on the alert.

Surveillance is on, said the officer and added that 21 persons connected to the said farm in some way or the other have been administered Tamiflu.

At the moment, the State Health Department has 1000 Tamiflu capsules, he informed and added that one thousand Personal Protection Equipments are also in stock besides N-95 face masks.

RIMS was earlier requested to open isolation ward with a 12 bed capacity to treat any patient as well as to keep aside specialist doctors for the same, but the RIMS authority turned down the approach of the Government on the ground that they do not have unventilated rooms, said Vaiphei.

However a ten bedded isolation ward has been opened at JN Hospital, he said and two artificial ventilators have arrived at the State today.

Eight hundred more are expected tomorrow.

On the Contingency Plan, Vaiphei said that movement of people will be restricted and health check up units will be opened at the airport and the bus stations.