Updated: January 22, 2021 1:47:08 am
Following several instances of finding fruit bat carcasses at a locality in Sector 7 in the last one week, the residents of the area have been gripped by anxiety.
Residents, who are very familiar with a bat colony residing in the trees of a public park surrounded by a private school, maintained, “At a time when confirmatory reports of avian influenza is coming from everywhere, we cannot overlook and take the death of these nocturnal birds lightly. This is a serious issue and we do not even know who to approach. The helpline number of the district wildlife wing cannot be reached.”
On Wednesday, a fruit bat’s carcass was removed from the middle of road by a team of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation’s sanitation department. Two days back, two bats were found dead on the opposite side of the public park. The particular locality is in ward 3.
Amit Chanana, a local resident, said, “These deaths are not usual. These are really unusual. I have been living here for a long time, but never discovered dead bats so frequently. Some people claimed it could be due to severe cold, but the winters come every year. We are anxious. There are some bat colonies in our area.”
CB Goel, former area councillor, said, “A few days back, we noticed a bat tangled dead between two electricity wires. Certainly, it was the first time that we found a bat dead in the area. But since then, people of our locality are countering dead bats every other day. There are particular mulberry fruit trees which are homes to these bats. I called the sanitation team of the Panchkula MC. The team members removed the carcasses. I urged them to deposit the dead bird with the Animal Husbandry and Dairying department for sending it to the relevant laboratory for confirming the reason behind their death.”
A team comprising chief sanitary inspector, Sadhu Ram Nain, removed the dead bat. The bat was submitted to the district Animal Husbandry department. Vikas Kumar, another resident, said, “Since the outbreak of bird flu in Barwala poultry belt, we are on vigil.”
Mohali: Culling delayed, to take place today
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Deputy Commissioner (DC) said that area within a 10 km radius of the affected epicenter has been marked as containment area to keep a tab on any commercial poultry farming activity being conducted therein. “Surveillance and sampling have been stepped up and two Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have been deployed to keep a tab on any deaths of birds (crows/migratory/wild birds) in the district,” the DC added.
The virus involved in the Avian influenza is zoonotic, implying the pathogen can be transmitted from animals to humans as per preliminary reports. To detect symptoms of plausible infection in humans, bird handlers in the affected poultry farms will be examined by doctors.
As many as 25 teams comprising five members each will conduct culling operation at the Alfa and Royal Poultry Farms in Derabassi. ENS
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