|Medical staff take samples for bird-flu tests at Ha Vi market - the biggest poultry market of the north region, in Ha Noi's Thuong Tin District. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS)— No signs of H7N9 and A/H5N1, the two dangerous strains of bird flu, have been detected from the 500 samples taken randomly from birds that were illegally transported through the border areas or sold in markets across Viet Nam.
Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the Animal Health Department made this affirmation at a meeting held by the national steering committee for the prevention and control of bird flu in Ha Noi yesterday.
Thanh said that during the past two weeks, no new outbreaks of bird flu were detected and the virus was currently under control in Viet Nam.
He noted, however, that the risk of the avian flu breaking out is still high given the unexpected changes in weather conditions at present, which often affect the health of poultry.
The illegal transport of poultry, especially in border areas, has not been strictly controlled, he added.
Thanh said the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations had offered financial support worth US$50,000 to Viet Nam for the supervision and detection of the A/H7N9 in poultry sold in 60 markets in areas close to the Chinese border.
The Animal Health Department plans to collect another 7,200 samples of poultry for testing by the end of April while the National Veterinary Diagnostic Centre has put measures in place to be able to test up to 3,000 birds detected with H7N9.
The Government Office yesterday disputed recent media reports about unhealthy chickens originating from China being sold in large quantities at a conference in Ha Noi.
The chickens were said to have lost their feathers due to ill health and were unfit for human consumption.
Nguyen Khac Dinh, deputy chief of the Government Office, said the media reports were biased and said that following media reports, the Government Office had instructed relevant authorities to check and monitor the situation in Ha Vi-Thuong Tin market, in which the media reports referred to.
Nguyen Thi Nhu Mai, head of the Ha Noi Market Management Department in Ha Noi, said the
department had increased monitoring of Ha Vi market and other wholesale markets in the area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
According to Mai, every single truck carrying poultry into Ha Vi is requested to provide quarantine papers. 24 hour CCTV is installed at all entrances to the market.
Mai believed that the media reports has had a negative effect on the residents of Ha Noi, impinging on work carried out by many of the agencies and authorities who are on duty.
The Veterinary Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Planning has also been requested to tighten control on the issuance of quarantining papers to poultry traders.
Also yesterday, the Prime Minister released a request to all ministries, sectors, localities to focus on the prevention of H7N9 and H5N1 within the country. — VNS