Amid reports of bird flu in the National Zoological Park also known as Delhi zoo, Development and General Administration Minister Gopal Rai has called a meeting of officials to review and monitor the condition.
The ministry has called a meeting at 02.00 PM and the take on further course of action will be taken at 03.00 PM, the minister was reported as saying.
“A 10 member close monitoring team is reviewing the condition, for now the zoo is closed for three days and will be reviewed later according to the situation. The virus has spread from birds coming from abroad,” Rai said.
He added, “Reports are coming from everywhere, this is not just an matter of Delhi zoo, it concerns whole of Delhi.”
Earlier, the Delhi zoo was closed after some water birds died reportedly due to bird flu. It was reported on October 18 that a number of ducks and a few pelicans have been dying since last three-four days. So the zoo management decided to close the zoo for an indefinite period of time citing ‘precautionary measure’.
“Officials in charge of the zoo informed us about the flu infecting birds. The flu has been diagnosed as H5 avian influenza. The zoo has been closed for now and we are taking all necessary measures,” earlier Gopal Rai said.
Rai said that the Delhi government would soon issue additional information after examining further test results. He said, “We do not know how many birds have been infected but tests are being conducted.” Although he didn’t revealed for how long the zoo will remain close.
Delhi: Zoo to remain temporarily closed for safety of the visitors and to carry out surveillance&take necessary actions to control the virus— ANI (@ANI_news) October 19, 2016
According to the sources, the birds succumbed to death due to bird flu. Reportedly the samples of the birds that died in the recent days were sent to Jhalandar to determine the reason behind deaths. Results are awaited for the test conducted on dead pelicans.
Sources also suggested that a central team will be visiting the zoo on October 19 to review the conditions. Samples’ being sent to another laboratory for a second opinion is also hinted.
Before these deaths were reported, there were about 20 ducks and 40 pelicans at the Delhi zoo. Both of which are kept in separately in different pond in the zoo.
Significantly, the number of bird deaths has not been officially confirmed, but sources suggested that it is around eight at least. If the reports are believed to be true, this would be the first time in the last ten years of bird flu being reported in the national zoological park.
‘Bird flu’ medically termed as avian influenza is an infectious disease in birds. Although according to the World Health Organization, most avian influenza virus is not infectious to humans.
Last year around 22 lakhs people visited the zoo. The Delhi was also in news because of the death of 46 spotted deer in May 2016.