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Bird flu wards equipped but empty

Ranchi:Infrastructure and life-saving drugs are present, but the ward lies vacant.

The newly opened bird flu wards at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) and state’s apex medical institute Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) are lying defunct as not a single bird flu case has been reported from the state so far.

The 10-bed and 28-bed bird flu ward at IDH and RIMS, respectively, are well-equipped with basic infrastructure like anti-viral medicines and personal protection instruments (PPI) which were brought from New Delhi.

Ranchi district civil surgeon Shyam Sunder Singh said the ward was started to deal with bird flu cases.

“We were worried as it was believed that such cases would be reported in the state,” Singh added.

Singh further said that people of the state had stopped consuming chicken as well. “Thus we also opted for massive culling at Anagada, Silli and Sonahatu, which are close to Bengal,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, N.N. Agarwal, the director of RIMS told The Telegraph: “We had opened the bird flu ward as our neighbouring state was getting alleged cases.”

The director further justified that it was part of a precautionary measure. “It will remain open for patients throughout the year as we have arranged for life saving drugs and equipment,” Agarwal said.

But the state is still awaiting for a directive from health commissioner S.P. Sinha on whether it was safe to consume chicken. “He has gone to Delhi to get the permission from the central government,” Sinha said.

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