25 villages cleaned up in Jalgaon
Jalgaon, Mar 16 (UNI) The district authorities here claimed to have culled about 24,000 birds till this evening as mopping operations in the remaining 149 villages in the avian flu affected Jalgaon district in northern Maharashtra continued.
District Collector Vijay Singhal said 23,849 birds had been culled by 1730 hrs, making 25 villages free of the poultry livestock. These villages are located in the three km periphery of the four villages - Marul, Navi, Borkheda Budruk and Salva - where the second outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus was confirmed on Tuesday, triggering prompt government action to contain the spread of flu.
The first outbreak was confirmed on February 18 in Navapur, situated in the close vicinity of Jalgaon.
Another 6,000 birds have been killed in the remaining 149 villages located in a radius of 10 kms, Mr Singhal told reporters this evening, adding that the entire bird population in the targetted 174 villages will be eliminated by tomorrow evening.
Barring two poultry farms, most of the estimated 75,000 chikcens in these villages are reared in backywards of people houses for personal consumption or local sale.
Meanwhile, Animal Husbandry commissioner Bijay Kumar disclosed that reports of chicken deaths have been received from six districts, adding that samples have been collected from villages in Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Nashik , Dhule and Jalgaon districts and sent to High Security Animal Diseases Labortary at Bhopal for testing of the virus, if any. So far, the Bhopal lab has confirmed presence of the deadly virus in four samples sent from four affected villages in this district.
Meanwhile, the authorities have restricted the movement of people in 174 villages as a precaution to prevent any human infection, though the collector said that no one body has been admitted for suspected human influenza in any of the hospitals in the district requiring surveillance.
He said 147 government teams are on job in 174 villages to spread health awareness among the villagers and check for human infection cases, if any. Isolation wards have been kept in readiness in the rural hospital to meet any exigencies, the collector said.
He said villagers have been advised against holding the weekly 'haats' (markets) till further orders as a precautionary measure.
UNI XR SA MA DB2313