The Delhi government issued a health advisory on Monday asking people not to consume half boiled or half cooked chicken or eggs as precaution with six more birds dying of the H5N8 flu on Monday. Development Minister Gopal Rai on Monday issued an 11-point health advisory asking people not to eat half cooked or half boiled chicken or eggs.
“All chicken and bird meat cooked at or above 100 degree centigrade should be consumed because cooking at high temperatures kills virus if any. The flu H5N8 is not known to infect or harm human beings but since more and more birds are dying, doctors and experts suggested an advisory be issued as part of larger precautionary measures,” Rai said.
With four more ducks found dead in a lake overseen by the central public works in Shakti Sthal near Raj Ghat on Monday making it the fourth site of bird deaths after the zoo, Hauz Khas district park lake and Sundar Nagar, Rai expressed concern about the situation. Since October 14, 64 birds have died of avian influenza and the zoo and the Hauz Khas district park lake remain closed to visitors.
Rai also appealed to sellers and handlers of bird meat to maintain cleanliness and take precautions like not touching ill or dead birds with bare hands and regularly washing hands and work stations. He reiterated that no birds have been found dead in the Ghazipur chicken mandi so far and no reports of infection in poultry have come in.
Rai also took a potshot at the Centre complaining that the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases at Bhopal was not sending results of tests on the samples sent to them. “The initial 50 samples sent to them from all over the capital have not yet come in and we are not being able to take necessary precautions which were to be based on the results. I am meeting the union agriculture minister who oversees animal husbandry tomorrow.”
Rai also rebuked the centre’s DDA for “not alerting the Delhi government on time about deaths in the Hauz Khas district park” where 45 ducks perished in the last 10 days. The situation in Hauz Khas prompted him to call a meeting on Monday with members of the health, revenue, environment and public works departments, authorities of the zoo, the three MCDs, the DDA, and the central public works department.
“In the meeting all the bodies were issued a 3-point advisory wherein it has been made mandatory for them to apply a 4 feet wide patch of lime around all water bodies under their jurisdiction, spray a strong anti-virus like sodium hypochlorite on birds in areas under their care and add vitamins to bird feed where birds are reared,” Rai said.
The Pune National Institute of Virology came visiting on Monday to collect samples from birds in the zoo and Hauz Khas. Rai, who was scheduled to travel to campaign in Goa on Monday, cancelled his visit. “I will go to Goa after Diwali since the bird flu outbreak needs to be monitored right now,” Rai said.