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(4th LD) S. Korea confirms 2 more cases of highly pathogenic bird flu

All News 19:58 December 23, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout; TRIMS)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed two more case of highly pathogenic bird flu in poultry Wednesday, raising this year's total caseload to 21 amid growing concerns over the disease spreading across the nation.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it has identified an avian influenza (AI) of H5N8 strain at a fowl farm in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, just south of Seoul. The farm was raising about 4,700 ducks and 100,000 quails.

It was the 20th such case since the nation confirmed this year's first outbreak of farm-related AI in late November.

Later in the day, the same virus was found at a farm with about 6,000 ducks in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, according to the provincial office.

Hundreds of thousands of ducks, chickens and quails within 3 kilometers from the affected farms were culled.

Officials prepare to cull birds at an egg farm in Yeoju, 105 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 22, 2020. (Yonhap)

Officials are also investigating suspected cases from an egg farm in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, and a duck farm in Namwon, North Jeolla Province.

Earlier in the day, the country issued a standstill order for Gyeonggi and Chungcheong provinces and the central city of Sejong.

The 24-hour order, which will run through 1 a.m. Thursday, will ban movement of all livestock, workers and automobiles at poultry farms in the regions.

Violators of the order could face up to one year in prison or a fine of 10 million won (US$9,000).

The country had culled about 6.3 million poultry as of Tuesday as farm-related H5N8 infections have been reported across the nation since late November.

Meanwhile, 35 cases in wild birds have been confirmed since late October.

colin@yna.co.kr
(END)

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