Disinfection drive at checkposts to prevent bird flu

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Gangtok, Feb 05 (UNI) The Sikkim Animal Husbandry department has initiated a massive disinfection programme at all its checkposts to prevent bird flu, that in West Bengal last month.

''The passengers entering Sikkim are required to wash the soles of their footwear in mats soaked with disinfectants at the checkposts of Rangpo, Melli, Reshi and Nayabazaar,'' Department's additional director S T Bhutia told UNI.

The precautionary exercise, which has started two days ago, was initially limited to Rangpo and Melli, the major gateways to Sikkim from West Bengal.

However, it has been extended to Reshi and Nayabazaar checkposts to insulate vehicular and human traffic coming from Darjeeling and Kalimpong in the flu affected state.

''All the vehicles will also be sprayed with disinfectants. We are trying to prevent the spread of the virus with topmost priority,'' Dr Bhutia said.

So far there are no reports of any instance of flu in the state, he added.

''The disinfection drive will continue for 15 days and if required may be extended depending on the situation in West Bengal,'' the additional director informed.

Assisted by the state police, the team also is checking the vehicles to prevent smuggling of poultry products into the state.

The state government has already banned imports of poultry products and teams of the animal husbandry department are strictly monitoring the local farms and the stakeholders were being asked to provide details of their produce.

UNI BG PP RD 1530

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