No bird flu in Nepal: Ministers

Kathmandu, February 21:

Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Keshar Bahadur Bista today requested people not to panic about the outbreak of bird flu in India, as it has not been traced in the country.

However, everyone should be cautious about the possibility of spread of the virus, as we have open border with India. “As precaution to the epidemic eight department level and 24 local level quarantine check posts have been established throughout the nation,” he told reporters at an interaction here.

State minister for Health and Population Mani Lama said there is no need to be worried about bird flu but everyone should be alert.

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Dr Mahendra Bahadur Bista, said transmission of bird flu virus to human beings is very rare. “We have in our stock the medicine that can cure some 100 patients,” he said adding that the WHO will send the additional medicines if needed. He said that the Rapid Response Teams are working in all the districts.

President of the Nepal Hatchery Association Guna Chandra Bista said the total investment in the poultry business amounts between Rs 16 billion to Rs 18 billion. “Some 62,000 people are directly involved in this business while another 400,000 people are indirectly involved,” he said.