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Three people discharged from Navapur hospital

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Mumbai, Feb 24 (UNI) Two days after declaring Navapur free of birds and eggs and a day after quarantining it, the Maharashtra government today said all three relatives of the town resident Ganesh Sonar, who had died in a Surat hospital on February 17, were discharged from the isolation ward of the civil hospital in the flu-hit town.

Confirming the discharge, State health director Dr P P Doke told UNI from Navapur that 11 people are now left under observation in the quarantined ward of the hospital.

A week after the death of Ganesh 27, his relatives, including his mother, did not show any symptoms akin to human influenza and , therefore, the government decided to discharge them today, official sources said, adding that others were likely to be discharged after being kept under observation for about a week.

Ganesh, according to state health secretary V S Singh, had died of flu but not of bird flu. He had gone to Dangs in adoining Gujarat State to attend the Shabari Kumbh Mela where he caught fever and cold and was hospitalised at Surat. However, he died six days after remaining on life-support systems.

Dr Singh today said no case of human infection by avian flu virus H5N1 has been confirmed by the Pune-based National Institute of Virology. But he said, the government has decided to put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality, adding the help of the Central government and international agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) is being sought to implement the plan as an abundant precaution.

Meanwhile, the government has deployed flaming guns at Navapur to incinerate litter of birds, including faeces and feathers. These guns, brought from Gujarat, are being used to burn out the litter in 14 most badly hit poultry farms in and around Navapur. Besides, all pits where the culled birds were buried, are being sprayed with disinfectants, Navapur control room said.

About 300 workers along with over 200 support staff from the animal husbandry department are still on the job of sanitising the town and villages in its vicinity. Besides , 58 health teams are also engaged in house-to-house survey to examine a total population of about 62,000 in Navapur ( 30,000) and 19 villages around its periphery.

UNI JM-SA HS KN2048

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