In Sri Lanka the Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit Director Dr Nihal Abeysinghe said that the country has banned import of all the poultry products from India. This is due to the result of the confirmation of the first bird flu infection death in India. They are requesting the public to avoid importing poultry products from India. He also said that if the virus was not contained by the Indian authorities then there is an increased chance of it being spread to Lanka. However, Lanka has taken all precautionary measures to ensure that the virus does not spread into the country.
Dr Abeysinghe said that the health department officials are on high alert and discussed with hospital authorities on providing intensive care incase of an outbreak. They have asked for the financial assistance of the World Bank to equip the Angoda National Hospital with the latest facilities. The surveillance is strengthened so as to detect the virus spread at the earliest possible time in the event of an outbreak.
The public are also asked to help the authorities to take all hygienic measures including washing and sterilising while consuming poultry products.
The various measures taken by the country are that the Lankan government has already stopped the import of poultry products and pet birds from countries affected by the virus. It has also stocked the anti Avian flu drug, Tamiflu, sufficient for treating 1,000 infected persons. The health officials have also been sent to Hong Kong to be trained in the use of a new technology in surveillance.
But on the other hand the Agriculture and Livestock Department Director Dr S Amarasekere has warned about the spread of the virus from the migratory birds. Most of them come from the western parts of the neighboring country India.
Dalaram Pradhan, director general at the Department of Livestock Services said that Nepal which is another neighboring country has also banned import of poultry from India and activated all quarantine posts along the Indo-Nepal border. The government has said that the decision would remain in force till international institutions certify that the epidemic no more exists in India. The government has activated all 24 quarantine check posts in border areas including Tatopani in Sindhupalchowk district bordering Tibet to check possible outbreak of bird flu.