Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is still investigating the link between bird flu, or H5N1, and dozens of poultry deaths that occurred in South Kalimantan.

"(Regarding) what occurred in South Kalimantan, we are currently checking whether it is true that the variant is bird flu," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated at the headquarters of the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture here on Tuesday.

Sadikin emphasized the need to conduct checks to ensure the source of transmission of the disease and to take the requisite mitigation efforts.

"If later, it is confirmed (that it is bird flu), then what we have checked is the transmission is not from human to human but from animal," he explained.

Sadikin stated that his ministry had cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct surveillance over poultry death cases in regions.

He further remarked that if the number of cases was significant, then the Ministry of Agriculture will coordinate with the Ministry of Health regarding the handling efforts.

"We have issued a letter of cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that if there are indications of significant (number of) deaths in poultry, then it (the Ministry of Agriculture) will have to coordinate with us later because it can be transmitted to humans," he remarked.

The minister noted that the recent cases of bird flu in Cambodia were caused by animal-to-human transmission.

"So far, what occurred in Cambodia, the transmission of all bird flu cases is from animal to human and not human to human. Hopefully, human-to-human (transmission) will not occur," he remarked.

Sadikin noted that his ministry's surveillance focus was targeted at the significant number of poultry deaths.

The Ministry of Health has issued a Director General of Disease Prevention and Control (P2P) Circular Letter Number PV.03.01/C/824/2023 concerning Precautions Against Extraordinary Events of Bird Flu (H5N1) New Clade, which was stipulated on February 24, 2023.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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