Notably, the number of birds killed in the central province of Khanh Hoa and the northwestern province of Lao Cai numbered almost 20,000, heard members from the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control at a meeting in Hanoi on February 25.
The outbreak was attributed to the complicated weather in the first two months of the year, and the increase in shipping and trading of poultry during the recently-ended Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
Should localities fail to intensify scrutiny and take swift measures, bird flu could develop into an epidemic, warned Deputy Head of the department Dam Xuan Thanh.
Participants agreed that all localities where the disease has reoccurred or has yet to be detected should focus on implementing the Prime Minister’s Decision 2088 on preventing the illegal import and trading of poultry.
Local authorities also need to tighten inspections at border gates and take prompt preventive measures against the bird flu virus and human-transmission strains such as H5N1 and H7N9.
The same day, officials from Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring provinces gathered at a meeting in the city to thrash out measures against the outbreak of bird flu.
With a population of around 10 million, Ho Chi Minh City consumes a large amount of poultry on a daily basis, with many brought in from other localities.
The city has signed cooperation agreements with the localities Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Long An and Tien Giang in monitoring and preventing epidemic diseases, and managing food safety.