NEW DELHI: With birds dropping dead across the city and test results expected next week for confirming an outbreak of bird flu, the Delhi government on Saturday closed the Ghazipur wholesale poultry market for 10 days and banned import of live birds into the capital.
Four parks, including the ones at Hauz Khas and Sanjay Lake, have been closed to the public as a precautionary measure. Till Saturday, there have been 64 officially confirmed bird deaths in the capital though the toll could be many times higher.
On Saturday, 10 ducks were found dead at east Delhi’s popular Sanjay Lake while four crows were found dead at Rohini’s Sector 15. DDA sources added that carcasses of 24 crows had been discovered at a district park in south Delhi’s Jasola in the past two days. Samples are being collected and sent to the Regional Disease Diagnosis Laboratory in Jalandhar and the National Institute of High Security Animal Disease, ICAR, Bhopal. The results will start trickling in from Monday.
“No confirmed case of bird flu has been registered in Delhi till now,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press briefing.
Bird flu scare: DDA shuts a few parks as safety step
The CM said that based on the test results, Delhi government will take decisions and necessary measures.
“As a precautionary measure, Delhi is taking several steps to control the spread of bird flu. Import of live birds is being completely banned from today. Second, the Ghazipur poultry market will remain shut for the next 10 days,” he added.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which maintains the biggest green spaces and parks in the city, many of which have water bodies as well, has shut down parks in Hauz Khas, Dwarka Sector 9 and Hastsal besides the one at Sanjay Lake as a precautionary measure.
“Twenty-four crows died in the past four days at the district park in Jasola. DDA is monitoring the situation closely and is in touch with other government agencies,” a DDA spokesperson said, adding that measures like spraying of disinfectants are being carried out in all DDA parks.
Kejriwal said rapid response teams have been formed in every district under the district magistrates to contain the spread and conduct proper surveillance. “Our veterinary officers are conducting surveys at all bird markets, wildlife establishments and water bodies across Delhi,” he said, adding that the government is following all guidelines and directions issued by the Centre on bird flu.
He said that the Delhi government has launched a 24×7 helpline – 011-23890318 too.