http://www.nineoclock.ro/index.php?page=detalii&categorie=homenews&id=20060517-5140 PM Tariceanu on Tuesday dismissed ANSVSA leadership, while the avian flu expands rapidly in Brasov and new hotbeds appear in other counties. Drakom Silva owner was arrested for 24 hours, Pati Prod manager detained. published in issue 3681 page 1 at 2006-05-18 The quick tests confirmed the presence of H5 avian fly virus in at least 20 localities in Brasov County, yesterday announced the county’s Prefect, Aurelian Danu. Thus, the avian flu virus was confirmed in Hurez village, in Fagaras municipality, at Drakom Silva from Codlea, in Feldioara village from Ucea commune, in Beclean commune, in Plopului Street from Codlea, at PatiProd SRL company in Codlea, in Barcut, Jibert, Venetia de Jos, Racos, Maierus, Dumbravita, Vulcan, Bod, Stupini, Vistea de Jos, Cristian and Sasciori, Soars localities. According to the Prefect, in 16 of these localities, the test came out positive, and the birds in people’s households from where samples were taken are now being culled. At the moment, partial or total quarantine was declared in five localities throughout Brasov County, namely in Hurez, Codlea (at Drakom company), Fagaras, Feldiora village from Ucea commune and in Soars village. The Prefect mentioned that there are other avian flu suspicions in Sanpetru and Rotbav, where fast tests were conducted on Wednesday. “In Fagaras municipality, the culling of 15,398 poultry was finalised, and in Hurez 7,356 birds were culled, and the first disinfection was also finalised,” said Aurelian Danu. He also added that approx 10,000 birds were culled at Drakom Silva farm. The Prefect of Brasov could not offer pieces of information about the six employees of Drakom company that fled on Monday through Tuesday night from the farm, where they were kept in quarantine, along other 10 employees, after the avian flu virus had been confirmed. Health Minister, Eugen Nicolaescu asked the six fugitives to come back on their own will to the farm, explaining at the same time that the Ministry is not an investigation body and does not have the duty to catch them. He thinks the people who disappeared from the farm in quarantine “are scared and that they will only come back when they are convinced nothing will happen to them, no one will arrest them.” Brasov officials also identified several persons that have been working without permit in Drakom Silva and in Patiprod, farms on the Codlea platform where the virus was identified. More than 50 companies have been identified to have bought chicken products from Codlea platform, which have sold products in seven counties. Avoid DN 1 Traffic police from Brasov and Sibiu recommend the drivers to avoid, as much as possible, the focus area between Brasov and Sibiu and to choose detour variants DN7, on Olt Valley, or DN 13, Brasov-Sighisoara. Several police squads in Sibiu were mobilised at the junction of National Roads 1 and 7. “Brasov is not closed, but we recommend you to use the detour routes for Bucharest, DN7 route Ramnicu Valcea-Bucharest. Because of the avian flu, you will be kept in quarantine and you might remain stuck in Brasov County until the situation is solved,” the policemen tell the drivers in traffic. New hotbeds in Vrancea, Buzau and Bacau counties At least four new hotbeds where H5 virus was confirmed or suspected appeared yesterday in Vrancea, Buzau and Bacau. The presence of the virus was confirmed in Valea Lupului locality (in Buzau County). The virus was brought to the locality by a person who bought 550 chickens from a farm on the poultry platform from Codlea, which were later sold to the local inhabitants. Agas commune (in Bacau County) was yesterday isolated because the tests conducted on two dead chickens were positive. The chickens also came from a lot of over 1,250 chickens bought from a farm from Codlea and were sold in the area. At least three more localities could join the commune of Agas. In Vrancea, two more hotbeds were confirmed yesterday: in Panciu town and in Ruginesti village. Criminal irresponsibility Vasile Dardala, the owner of Drakom farm, from where the infested poultry was sold illegally to several counties around the country, was yesterday detained for 24 hours, TV Antena 3 station announced, after he had been heard by the prosecutors within the Brasov Court Prosecutor’s office as defendant, because it seems he knew the birds he had sold were sick. Also Florin Macovei, manager of Patiprod was arrested for 24 hours, being inquired for bird flu spreading. The President and the Vice-President of the National Health Veterinary Authority Ion Agafitei and Dan Marcu were dismissed on Tuesday night through the order of PM Tariceanu. The PM stated yesterday that the two, as well as the responsible people from Brasov County proved a “criminal irresponsibility.” We remind our readers that the Director of Brasov Health Veterinary Directorate, Mihai Dumitru resigned on Tuesday, calling medical reasons. The PM also mentioned that in such situations, apart from administrative sanctions, which are “absolutely necessary,” the prosecutors’ investigation must also take place. He added that the prosecutors’ investigation should not limit to officials within ANSV, as “the responsibility also lies with the company that sold the chickens without having the necessary authorisations and without respecting the functioning conditions.” Revolt in Codlea Several inhabitants from a street in Codlea city, where the quarantine was declared after the avian virus was discovered, and yesterday at noon started forcing the gendarmes’ forces, in the attempt to leave the area. The people are revolted that they can no longer leave the street, as the quarantine was declared in the area because dead sick birds coming from Drakom Silva farm were allegedly thrown there. The inhabitants also say they want to leave the area because they have no food and accuse the authorities of discrimination, as they are Roma ethnics. Two children from Codlea have been brought to ‘Matei Bals Holspital’ in Bucharest, suspected of having avian flu. Watching carefully The authorities yesterday discovered in Straulesti area, on the outskirts of the Capital City almost a ton of chicken remains in several packages. Fortunately, the first tests came out negative, which means they did not come from sick poultry, however the authorities started an investigation to find out who dumped the chicken remains there. A bag of dead hens was found on a platform from Bacau railway station yesterday morning, and the authorities are trying to establish the place where the bag was loaded. Several micro farms from Arad and Bistrita Counties were closed down or fined over the last few days, as they did not respect the health veterinary conditions.