Efforts to tackle bird flu outbreak to be redoubled over Lunar New Year holidayUpdated: 2014-01-29 22:06:22 (KST)
The battle against bird flu will continue over the Lunar New Year holiday with disease prevention authorities tightening measures to prevent the virus spreading any further.
Government employees, local self-governing bodies, the military and police will be on 24-hour standby over the four-day holiday.
Concerns are rising that, with an estimated 30 million people on the move over the holiday period, the flu could spread to even more regions.
The government has therefore ordered the installation of sterilization facilities at interchanges on highways across the nation.
The public is also being asked to refrain from visiting poultry farms and migratory bird habitats, and to take extra care not to step on animal droppings.
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the virus can be contained if everyone pulls together.
"I ask for your active cooperation in preventive measures during your trips home this Lunar New Year holiday, even if it's inconvenient."
The minister also said stock-breeding farms should sterilize their facilities and surrounding areas every day and immediately report any suspected bird flu outbreaks to the agriculture ministry.
There are now fears the virus has even spread to the southeastern part of the nation in Gyeongsangnam-do Province.
The agriculture ministry said on Wednesday that a suspected case at a chicken farm in the city of Miryang was reported Tuesday night.
Officials say around 70 chickens were found dead at the farm.
New suspected cases also popped up in several farms in west of the country and the virus was confirmed in Korea's central Chungcheongbuk-do Province, and another further south in Chungcheongnam-do Province on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, farms that have been devastated by the mass culling of their ducks and chickens will be receive government compensation before the end of the week.
Kwon So-a, Arirang News.
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