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India Press Release "Prepared to control any outbreak of bird flu"

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  • India Press Release "Prepared to control any outbreak of bird flu"

    <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="85%"><tbody><tr bgcolor="#eff0ef"><td colspan="2" align="right" valign="top">INDIA FULLY PREPARED TO CONTROL ANY OUTBREAK OF BIRD FLU <hr> </td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#eff0ef"> <td style="text-align: left;" height="30" valign="top" width="103">
    </td> <td style="text-align: right;" height="30" valign="top" width="347">13:50 IST </td> </tr> </tbody></table> India is fully prepared to control any outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) though the country is declared free from the disease in August, 2006. The strategy of the Government to control the disease includes continued surveillance throughout the country and especially in the areas where the outbreak of bird flu was noticed in February this year. More than 73,000 samples have been tested at HSADL, Bhopal since the first outbreak. Routine surveillance all over the country combined with active and focused surveillance in vulnerable areas is being continued to ensure early detection of the disease in case of any fresh outbreak.

    The strategy of the Government of India is also to give thrust to training of human resources and dissemination of information on bird flu and reduce the risk of human transmission effectively in the event of any outbreak. Modalities for sharing virus isolates of bird flu are being worked out between Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

    Training of veterinary personnel to undertake control and containment operations for Avian Influenza is being continued as a priority activity. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has developed a training module for the disease which has been tested through a two-day Conference at Pune and has been circulated to the regional level. Training of veterinarians is being regularly conducted by the Department. At the State level, training is being conducted in an effort to train a large number of doctors and related personnel.

    The countrywide situation has been under constant review. Monitoring is constantly undertaken through video-conferencing, regional workshops, national and international conferences and departmental meetings of all concerned departments besides review by a Committee of Secretaries at the level of Cabinet Secretary as also through established joint mechanisms at the level of central and state governments. The Department is also conducting IEC campaign for control of bird flu in the event of any outbreak.

    India has the first outbreak of AI in February 2006. The Government took immediate action to control and contain AI in accordance with the protocol laid down by OIE. Consequent upon these efforts, India is free from AI with effect from August 2006. The Government did not undertake containment operations in a hurried manner. An Action Plan was in place well before the outbreak of AI. Control and containment operations were undertaken in accordance with the strategy outlined in the Action Plan. The conduct of operations has been greatly appreciated by the international organizations like FAO, ADB, World Bank and WHO especially in terms of immediacy of notification, transparency of information, strategy to kill birds in the entire 10 km. radius, immediate payment of compensation to poultry owners, surveillance carried out by Government of India especially after outbreak of AI and coordination between Government Departments and more importantly between the central and state governments.

    "We are in this breathing space before it happens. We do not know how long that breathing space is going to be. But, if we are not all organizing ourselves to get ready and to take action to prepare for a pandemic, then we are squandering an opportunity for our human security"- Dr. David Nabarro