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Centre forms national panel to monitor bird flu

The Centre on Wednesday set up a national helpline and high-level committee to monitor the status of bird flu in the capital. Meanwhile, three more birds died in the capital — one in the Delhi zoo after a week-long gap and two in Shakti Sthal — taking the toll to 68. A day after Delhi Development Minister Gopal Rai wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, requesting him to issue a health advisory and a list of precautions to be followed by all central bodies, the Centre set up a control room and released helpline numbers — 011-23384190 and 09448324121. An official from the ministry said, “As per reports from states such as Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, the flu incidence is under control, and full support is being provided to the Delhi government regarding this.” The Centre on Wednesday said it had assisted the Delhi government and an adequate number of samples needed by the Delhi government to address the issue had been sent to it.“No further test results are presently required by Delhi government to continue with its bio-security measures for implementing the National Action Plan for Control and Containment of the Avian Influenza, 2015 guidelines,” an official in the ministry said. The Centre also directed the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute and four regional laboratories to assist state governments and test samples as part of the rapid response protocol. The Centre also constituted a committee headed the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries.

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