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Navapur railway station opens to traffic

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Mar 3 (UNI) Two days after the avian flu-hit Navapur town in northern Maharashtra was opened to road traffic, the restriction on movement of trains to the quarantined town was also lifted this evening even as cleaning-up of Ucchal town bordering Gujarat continued.

Western Railways Chief PRO Pranay Prabhakar confirmed receipt of advisory on lifting of the restriction from Nandurbar district collector.

The poultry town was quarantined on February 23 following cofirmation of the outbreak of the birdflu.

While no case of human infection by H5N1 virus has been reported so far, only one patient is now under observation in the isolation ward of Navapur hospital. He, too, will be discharged if he does not show any symptoms of influenza in 10 days after his admittance, officials said.

State Animal Husbandry Minister Anees Ahmed today said with the fear of human infection abating, Mumbaikars have resumed eating chicken. He said from the low of daily arrival of only 12,000 birds in the state capital in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak on February 18, the chicken inflow has now gone up to one lakh per day.

This is, however, still one-fourth of the daily arrival of four lakh birds before the outbreak which has caused panic all over the country.

The flu hit India for the first time since its outbreak in 2003 in some south-east Asian countries.

Feasting on chicken before mediapersons, the Minister appealed to the people to shed their fear and resume eating chikcen, saying Indian way of cooking it destroyed the avian virus.

H5N1 virus, he said, becomes vunerable at 56 degrees Celsius and is killed at 70 degrees, whereas Indian cooking is done at 100 degrees plus and hence it is safe to consume chicken the way it is cooked in the country. Boiled eggs are also safe for consumption, he added.

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