Mopping operations begin after culling of 3.2 million birds

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Kolkata, Feb 4 (UNI) Mopping operation started in West Bengal today, even as the authorities claimed to have culled about 3.2 million birds in the 13 flu-affected districts.

''Culling is by and large over. Today the mopping operation started with police going door-to-door in the affected areas to see whether more birds were left,'' Home Secretary P R Ray told newspersons.

He said the situation was almost under control and there was no fresh report of the dreaded H5N1 virus spreading to new areas of the state.

Official sources said after culling was over in the affected areas, all possible measures would be taken to disinfect the cooperatives, the residence of poultry owners and their neighbourhoods.

The state government had already decided to put in mandatory quarantine for seven days for all the health workers who participated in culling.

Amid reports of culling teams leaving without undergoing the mandatory quarantine in Murshidabad and Birbhum districts, the Centre had directed the state government to ''call back such teams and ensure that they undergo procedural checks and the quarantine period''.

A comprehensive list containing the names of people whose birds had either died of the disease or been culled will be compiled very soon for compensation.

UNI KDG PL SK RN1605

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