Government working on plan to counter bird flu threat

New Delhi, Aug 1 | Updated: Aug 2 2005, 05:30am hrs
With the outbreak of bird flu already reported in several neighbouring countries and fears of emergence of a human-to-human transmitting strain getting strengthened, the government on Monday decided to work out a preparedness plan to counter any eventuality.

"A joint monitoring group has been set up under the guidance of director general of health services. The group will now be expanded," health minister Anbumani Ramadoss said here at a national level consultation meeting on influenza preparedness.

"We have also decided to set up sub-groups under the joint monitoring group to look into various issues of praparedness such as vaccines, prevention and emergency situation," he said adding the monitoring group would set up a task force which would meet every three to four months.

The meeting was also attended by officials from ministries of environment and agriculture, public health experts and world health organisation. The group would advise the government on laying down a strategy to prevent bird flu from entering the country and respond in case of any eventuality, he said.