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Punjab temporarily suspends COVID-19 testing at RDDL for increasing surveillance on bird flu

Punjab temporarily suspends COVID-19 testing at RDDL for increasing surveillance on bird flu

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Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], January 10 (ANI): In view of the need to increase surveillance for avian influenza, the Punjab Government on Sunday has restored the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar of Animal Husbandry Department for the testing of suspicious bird flu cases.
The RDDL was earlier being used for COVID-19 testing, as per a press release by the Information and Public Relations Department, Punjab.
Giving details on Sunday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that to maximise testing for bird flu, COVID-19 testing has temporarily been suspended at RDDL as more than enough COVID testing capacity is available at distance of one hour.
He said that RDDL will revert to testing for COVID-19 once bird flu threat is over. He also clarified that there is not even a single sample pending for testing in backlog at RDDL.
Hussan Lal, the Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, said that in wake of bird flu, instructions have already been issued to all civil surgeons in this regard.
If any suspected human case is reported, epidemiological surveillance to trace more cases should be carried out in the affected area.
The Punjab Government has declared the whole state as a 'controlled area' due to outbreak of Avian bird flu and imposed complete ban on import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat for any purpose in Punjab with immediate effect till January 15, 2021. (ANI)

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