ALAPPUZHA/KOTTAYAM: A week after the intensive drive by the Animal Husbandry Department and the Health Department, it seems the avian influenza which spread across the Kuttanad region is under control. Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Saturday about 1.25 lakh ducks hit by the flu were culled in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.
The rapid response team(RRT) on Saturday completed the culling in the Kareemadam area in Kottayam district’s Aymanam panchayat. The team is expected to complete the culling in Kumarakom panchayat on Sunday.
According to officials of the Animal Husbandry Department, as many as 88 chickens and seven ducks were killed on the last day of the culling operations in Aymanam. With this, a total of 4,179 ducks and 108 chickens were culled in the one kilometre radius of the affected area in the panchayat. “We have completed culling operations in this area and the disinfection procedure will be launched on Sunday. In the two-round procedure, we are planning to sterilise the area by administering bleaching powder and sodium hypochlorite,” said chief veterinary officer A Saiju.
In Kumarakom, 1,442 chicks, 41 hen and 85 Japanese quails were killed on the third day of the operations. The RRT personnel also destroyed 200 eggs as part of the containment procedures.
A total of 1,343 broiler chickens, 1,949 chicks, 183 adult hens, 85 Japanese quail and 12 love birds have so far been culled in the panchayat. Kottayam District Collector Ajit Kumar entrusted the officials of the Health Department and local bodies with ensuring sufficient supply of bleaching powder and sodium hypochlorite.
Sivakumar said the government has distributed `45.52 lakh as relief to the farmers for the culled ducks.
He said the blood test on two veterinary doctors who showed symptoms of fever while engaged in culling in Kottayam district has tested negative.
A surveillance carried out by the Health Department in a 3 km radius of the flu reported areas found nobody affected by the virus. About 99,000 people were examined by the Health Department officials.
The Health Department has distributed 30,000 tablets as preventive medicine. The government has ordered another 3 lakh preventive tablets. Strict orders have been issued to the police and Motor Vehicles Department to prevent transportation of ducks from flu affected areas to other districts, he said.
Birds in one km radius of the flu affected areas will be culled in the second stage from Monday. Meanwhile, birds died in some panchayats, Vazhappalli (27), Vechoor (60), Thalayazham (10), Thiruvarp (50) and Arpookkara (12) on Saturday. A bird sample which had tested positive in the Avian Disease Diagnostic Lab in Tiruvalla was forwarded to the Animal Disease Laboratory, Bhopal, for confirmation. RRT officials, however, refused to disclose details of the area from where the sample had been collected.