Chandigarh: Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake has been declared a “Bird Flu-hit zone” and the lake has been closed to the public indefinitely. The authorities decided to cull around 70 geese after 30 were found to have died over the last 10 days.
One duck was found to be infected with the H5N1 virus, which causes the disease. Other samples have been sent for testing.
But migratory birds, which visit the lake in large numbers in winter, will not be culled.
The Sukhna lake has around 100 geese and they are a star attraction for tourists. The culling will wipe out the geese population at the lake.
Besides tourists, a large number of locals visit the lake for morning and evening walks. Now, police personnel and Forest Rangers have been deployed in the lake area to ensure that people are kept at a distance and to prevent any direct contact with birds.
The state-run Central Poultry Development Organisation has suspended the supply of eggs and birds for a month as a precautionary measure, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
The outbreak in Chandigarh comes days after the disease surfaced in Kerala, pushing the authorities to cull thousands of ducks and chickens. Today, the Kerala government declared that the disease has been contained and curbs were lifted from the transportation and consumption of poultry.
The Chandigarh administration has issued an appeal to the people, saying there is no need to panic. An emergency ward to handle suspected patients, however, has been put in place at the Sector 16 government hospital.