Government agencies are struggling to retain the virus from spreading and particularly from passing it to human population,three days after the confirmation of the avian flu upsurge.
An inspection of poultry farms is being launched nationwide by the government aside from the ongoing culling of ducks, chickens and the quarantine of an area in San Luis town in Pampanga where the upsurge was first reported.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that his department, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has organized a biosecurity team to conduct the inspection nationwide and will start as early as possible starting with the Farms in San Luis.
While still waiting for the results of the laboratory tests in Australia, the BAI said that the results may be out within two weeks to determine whether the avian flu strain found in San Luis could affect humans
Dr. Arlene Vytiaco,head of BAI animal disease and control division said that earlier findings of the Philippines’ Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, that the bird flu in San Luis was not of the H5Ni strain that affect humans, were not conclusive.Vytiaco said that only the results in Australia could surely confirm the findings.
She also that said workers who gather fowls in the quarantine zone were required to wear masks and special vests.
Currently there are 11 checkpoints and over 90 quarantine officers in the area of San Luis.
Malacañang called on the public to be calm but cautios as the Department of Agriculture (DA) declared a bird flu upsurge in Pampanga.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella assureda continued support in the face of the avian flu crisis to the local poultry industry.
Abella also reminded the public that there is no sign that the avian flu strain now in the country is really harmful to humans. And said that they will continue to validate this and take all precaution needed.
Through the Department of Agriculture (DA), the governmenthas also banned the transport of fowl, birds or their byproducts from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.
Transport within Luzon is required to have veterinary health certificate and shipping permit and is allowed but strictly not within or from seven-kilometer radius under quarantine in San Luis, Pampanga.
Local government units, especially those in Misamis Oriental, Bataan and Pampanga, have announced their own emergency measures.