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Bird flu: No need to panic, says CM

Bird flu: No need to panic, says CM

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Wednesday said the outbreak of avian flu in the state was limited to three districts and there was no need to panic.

"Things are under control and there is no need to panic as the virus that has been identified is one which spreads to birds only and not to humans," Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

"All possible precautions as per the WHO guidelines are being undertaken. We have drawn out two lines of controls...All the necessary preventive medicines are available and more stocks are arriving from the centre. We, however, are doing our best and no risks would be taken," he said.

The presence of H5 avian influenza virus in Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts were confirmed Monday. The district authorities have already started culling poultry birds in the affected 12 village councils.

Chandy said the state government has decided to hike the compensation to the duck farmers and the state government has sanctioned Rs.2 crore to address the issue.

A two-member central team has already arrived in Alappuzha and another one is expected to come Thursday. They will be visiting all the affected places.

Leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has blamed the state government for not intervening at the right time as the first case of death of ducks reported Nov 9.

"The government was silent on this and did not make an effective intervention. This has caused a double blow as there is going to be loss for the farmers and also loss on the export front," said Achuthanandan.

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