No Avian Influenza, or bird flu, has been detected in the poultry samples sent from the capital’s Ghazipur chicken market, Delhi Animal Husbandry Unit has confirmed.
“Test results of 104 samples (from Ghazipur) arrived on Wednesday evening. Of these, 100 samples were collected from 35 poultry birds in the Ghazipur market. All samples have tested negative for bird flu,” senior Animal Husbandry Unit officer Rakesh Singh said.
“It means there is no spread of avian influenza in poultry birds in Delhi,” he said.
However, bird flu was suspected in the remaining four samples of Heron birds taken from a park. They have been sent to Bhopal for confirmation, the official said.
As a precautionary measure, the Ghazipur wholesale poultry market, Asia’s largest, was shut for 10 days on January 9 after bird flu was confirmed in wild birds that dropped dead across parks in the city.
Yesterday, all three civic bodies of Delhi had banned the sale, processing and packaging of poultry or poultry meat “till the next order” in areas under their jurisdiction.
Hotels and restaurants were warned against serving egg-based dishes or poultry meat and threatened with licence suspension if they fail to comply.
The orders came even as after the Health Department asked people not to panic and follow a set of dos and don’ts, including not eating half-cooked chicken and half-boiled or half-fried eggs.
“H5N8 is highly pathogenic in birds but the pathogenicity in humans, as well as the likelihood of human infection with avian influenza (AH5N8) virus, is low,” the department’s notification said.
Last week Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, tweeted similar assurances: “Cook meat and eggs properly. There is nothing to worry about.”
Bird flu has been confirmed in 10 states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, prompting culling of birds with the centre summoning state officials to examine the availability of animal vaccines in the country.