As the country continues to be plagued by coronavirus, rising cases of bird flu in several states have also come as a major cause of concern. To tackle the flu, many control rooms have been set up to take stock on a daily basis of preventive and control measures undertaken by State authorities. However, the Madhya Pradesh has gone a step further and issued a bizarre order to deal with the cases of bird flu in the state!Also Read - First Case of Human Infection From Bird Flu H5N8 Virus Strain Reported in Russia

According to a report by The Times Now, the state’s Department of Animal Husbandry, the government has imposed a ban on the movement of avian species (birds) in certain areas for three months to tackle the disease. Yes, it’s true! The movement ban will be effective in certain villages in the districts of Mandsaur, Jhabua, Harda and Raisen.

A gazette notification issued on February 18, 2021 states: “The Government of Madhya Pradesh hereby declares the Village Rundipada Block Thandla District Jhabua sanitization date 14 January 2021, Village Khedha Block Sitamau District Mandsaur sanitization date 18 January 2021, Village Rehatgaon Block Rehangaon District Harda sanitization date 19 January 2021, Village Khamariya Gadhi Block Gairatganj District Raisen sanitization date 24 January 2021 and area within 10 kilometres of its radius as ‘controlled area’ for avian species of animals to prevent and control and eradicate avian influenza disease and prohibits the movement of avian species from the place where they are kept to any other place within or outside the area and also prohibits the holding of fair, exhibition, games and gathering of such birds in this area for the period of three months from the date of sanitization.”

Notably, this order comes after Russia reported the world’s first case of a strain of bird flu virus that has infected humans via birds. Russian health authorities have said that the highly contagious strain of avian flu is common amongst birds, but has never been detected in humans before.

Bird flu or Avian influenza is a highly infectious and severe respiratory disease in birds caused by the H5N1 influenza virus, which can occasionally infect humans as well.  India reported its first outbreak in 2006. In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds flying to the country during winter months, from September–October to February–March.