No need to panic, says Rai after market visit
The central lab in Bhopal meanwhile confirmed that the virus strain found in the initial sample of birds was H5N8, which does not pose as much risk to humans as H5N1, Delhi Animal Husbandry Minister Gopal Rai said.
A sample of eight birds was first sent to the regional lab in Jalandhar and later to the central lab in Bhopal. The initial reports said H5 virus was found in three of the birds.
The Delhi government received the final report on Thursday evening.
“The H5N1 is the most dangerous strain, which we were fearing... But the final report has concluded that it is H5N8 virus,” Rai said.
“We talked to medical experts and they said that while H5N1 has been found to infect humans, no such reports have come regarding H5N8. So people of Delhi need not panic,” the minister added.
Rai’s remarks came after he held a meeting with experts from Bhopal and Bareily central labs.
Earlier, Rai visited the Ghazipur poultry market to take stock of the situation.
Rai said that no indication of avian virus infection had been found in the 2.2 lakh chickens
that arrived in the market since morning.
Rai has also set up a 15-member monitoring committee to enforce these measures at the market.
“Also, we have decided to build a medicated subway at the entry gate in the market which will have medicines mixed with water. Every truck entering the market will have to pass through this water which will help in preventing the infection from spreading,” Rai said.
The first deaths of two migratory birds were reported on October 14 in the Delhi Zoo, where six more birds were found dead the next day. Two more birds died on October 17 and 19. On Thursday, eight more birds had died in the city.