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Sale of poultry products banned in Delhi bird flu cases reported in Uttar Pradesh

After bird deaths and cases of bird flu were reported in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi banned the sale of poultry products. The government has urged its citizens not to create chaos and to eat completely cooked eggs and chicken. Unusual mortality among birds has also been reported in some districts of Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir, as per a statement of the Union fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying ministry, which has asked state governments not to ban the supply of poultry products.

However, bird flu outbreak has been confirmed only in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat till now, according to the ministry. “Further, cases of unnatural mortality of birds have been reported in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir and four districts of Jharkhand,” it said.

The ministry while addressing the issue of banning poultry products said that banning the interstate supply of poultry can have a negative impact and asked the states to reconsider their decision. In the national capital, the ban on the sale, storage of poultry or processed chicken meat by shops and restaurants has been imposed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

Earlier, the Delhi government had imposed a ban on the sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city, after bird flu cases were confirmed in the national capital on Monday. The civic bodies through their veterinary services departments have also said that said owners of restaurants and hotels will face action if egg-based dishes or poultry meat and other products are served to customers.

In the past week, Delhi has reported several bird deaths, including those of ducks at Sanjay Lake and crows at city parks. Reports of over 50 bird deaths were also received on a helpline of the Delhi government’s animal husbandry unit on Tuesday.

The Delhi Health Department in its advisory given bird flu cases asked people not to panic and follow a set of dos and don’ts, including not consuming half-cooked chicken, half-boiled, or half-fried eggs. “H5N8 is highly pathogenic in birds but the pathogenicity in humans, as well as the likelihood of human infection with avian influenza (AH5N8) virus, is low,” the advisory issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of Delhi stated. It is said to avoid contact and prevent exposure from sick-looking sluggish chicken. “Eat only completely cooked eggs and poultry products cooked at 70 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Do not consume half-cooked chicken or bird or half-boiled and half-fried eggs,” the advisory said. Do not keep raw poultry meat near cooked meat. Wash hands frequently at the time of handling raw poultry products. Take due care of personal hygiene and maintain cleanliness in surroundings, it cautioned.

In Uttar Pradesh, bird deaths were reported from the Jalaun district, and avian flu cases from Kanpur. Samples taken from two dead crows in Kanpur have tested positive for bird flu and with these, the number of confirmed cases of influenza has increased to four in the city, forest officials said. In Jalaun, five birds, mostly crows, were found dead and their samples have been sent for testing, while in Fatehpur district two peacock carcasses were found in a forest. However, officials ruled out bird flu as the cause of death of the peacocks.