Red alert sounded over bird flu scare
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 26: Following the confirmation of outbreak of Avian influenza in neighbouring Myanmar and Bangladesh, the State Government has sounded a red alert to all the Army, Paramilitary force, police and district administration to remain vigilant on poultry products being imported to Manipur.

Though the State Veterinary Department has maintained that the situation, as of now, does not warrant panic among the people, nonetheless, ban on import of poultry and its products from Myanmar into Manipur through the border town of Moreh has been re-inforced as preventive measures against the epidemic commonly known as Bird flu.

Talking to mediapersons at his office room today, Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Dr Th Debendra informed that the State Government has issued necessary instruction to the Army, Paramilitary forces, Police as well as the district administration to remain vigilant and keep a close watch on import of poultry products following confirmation of outbreak of Bird flu in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Side by side, the Department has also taken up stringent measures to prevent spread of the epidemic along with stepping up surveillance work periodically, he informed.

The Director further said that as part of the ongoing surveillance work, 122 Avian Sero samples including that of one migratory bird have been collected from Bishnupur, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Chandel, Imphal East and Imphal West district.

These samples would be sent to the High Security Risk Animal Disease Laboratory at Bhopal tomorrow.

The Director also appealed to the people to report the matter to the Department concerned immediately if they come across any suspected cases of Bird flu and help the Department in collecting the sample.

However, he hastened to add that the situation is not that alarming in Manipur at present and people need not panic unnecessarily.

In the meantime, the Department will be taking up efforts to bring out books and pamphlets providing detailed information on the disease for disseminating information to the people, the Director said.

The State Veterinary Department has been organizing various awareness programmes on Bird flu at the directorate premises as well as at other far-flung areas.

When contacted by The Sangain Express, Dr Th Biren Singh, Additional Director (Public Health) of the State Health Department said there has been not a single case of virus infecting human in Manipur.

Bird flu scare gripped Manipur a couple of years back after a carcass of a Red-Legged Falcon, a migratory bird, was recovered from the bank of Barak river in Tamenglong district and remains of a Cormorant bird near Loktak lake in Bishnupur district.

Deputy Director of Veterinary Dr S Thoiba Singh along with the help of security forces has been conducting the routine check to prevent the dreaded disease along the border areas especially at Moreh town since the last two years.

The task has been intensified following the recent confirmation of the report of Bird flu outbreak at Myanmar capital, Yangon, though so far no case of Bird flu has been detected nor reported from any part of Manipur.