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7,000 more birds to be culled in Surat

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Surat Feb 23 (UNI) Surat district Collector Vatsala Vasudev today informed that 7,000 birds will be culled in Surat as a precautionary measure to prevent any bird flu danger.

Addressing a press conference here today on the measures taken by the district auhorities to clean up the Uchchal area in Surat, the Collector said till today a total 73,000 birds were killed in various poultry farms located in six villages in Uchchal Taluka in Surat. All these birds were from a three km radius within the taluka headquarters.

''Now the central government has instructed that all birds within a 10-km radius must be culled. Accordingly, we will take up the operation in coming days,'' she said.

Community Medicine Department head at the Surat Medical College Dr Vikas K Desai, who is also a member of the task force formed by the district authorities, said a total of ten patients were under observation in the Vyara referral hospital.

''In fact, there is an improvement in their condition and they want to go home. But we are still keeping them under observation as a precautionary measure,'' Dr Desai said.

The District Collector also confirmed that a police surveillance is going on in the border check posts of Gujarat to check the vehicles coming from Maharashtra.

''A huge police force is deployed including mobile patrolling and one company of State Reserve Police force to check the entry points,'' she said.

She said a health surveillance is also under consideration.

''Though no human-to-human spread of bird flu has been reported, we find it better to check all suspected patients with symptoms in public places like bus stands and railway stations,'' she added.

UNI MS MAZ VD RAI2248

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