Even as the first confirmed cases of bird flu were reported from Delhi on Monday, officials from the forest department in neighbouring Gurgaon said there has been a surge in the number of calls received regarding carcasses of birds over the last one week. Speaking to The Indian Express, wildlife inspector Rajesh Chahal said, “Calls are coming in a scattered manner from across Gurgaon. In the last 24 hours alone, we received calls from 4-5 places.”
Officials said the calls were initially regarding dead crows, but several calls are now being received of dead pigeons.
Two samples have been sent for testing, with results expected by the end of this month. “One of the samples is of an egret, the other of a crow. We have been given a timeline of 15 days for the results due to the rush at the laboratory as samples from across North India are being tested by them,” said Chahal.
With cases of avian influenza now being confirmed in several states, the forest department has also stepped up vigilance. Officials said teams are visiting the Sultanpur National Park twice daily — in the morning and evening — and the wetlands in Basai and Najafgarh once a day. Since these places attract water birds and migratory birds, they said “maintaining vigilance there is most important”.
The Gurgaon health department has also started taking precautionary measures to ensure it is prepared for any cases of the infection. “We have trained our people in this regard and a rapid response team with 11 members, headed by the Chief Medical Officer, has been formed. We are completely prepared, our staff has been trained, medicines have been provided, and all relevant guidelines have been shared,” said Civil Surgeon Dr Virender Yadav.
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