Price hike in oil prices: why and how

The fuel Price in India hit the record high three figures for the first time in the history of India. On Wednesday the retail price of regular petrol hiked by 26 paise in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar and reached Rs. 100.13. While the Diesel rested at Rs. 92.13 after a hike of 27 paise. The fuel prices in India vary from state to state, City to City. It is determined after implementing state and central government taxes. So why are the prices rising like never before?  After effects of the infamous Pandemic:  Due to the then on-going Pandemic, the demand of Crude Oil (pre refined petroleum) showed a significant drop in April 2020. Which then turned to a collapse in prices of crude oil.           After Pandemic, Saudi Arabia a key oil producing country voluntarily cut its supply by about one million barrels to 8.125 million barrels of crude oil to boost the prices hence to cover the loss due to Pandemic. Resulting in Price of Crude Oil hiked by about 50%. Compared to $40/Barrel

Bird Flu in India

 Centre has today confirmed the presence of Avian Influenza popularly known as Bird Flu in six states: Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. This led to the center asking the unaffected states to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality among birds. So far, Central teams have been deployed in Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana to do epidemiological research. In Delhi, 16 birds have died unusually whose test samples have been sent to ICAR-NIHSAD for testing. The center on Wednesday had issued a statement saying that Avian Influenza outbreak had been reported in 12 epicenters in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. While Haryana is on high alert due to unusual mortality at poultry farms at Panchkula. In Panchkula, some 1.6 lakh birds are to be culled since some poultry samples from the area have tested positive for Avian flu. The government further said that awareness among poultry farmers and general public about the disease is of utmost importance.


What is Bird Flu?

Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is the disease caused by infection with avian Influenza Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with avian flu viruses have occurred. The links below offer more information about avian influenza.

Symptoms of Bird Flu:

Symptoms generally start within 2 to 8 days of contraction of virus and are almost similar to that of common flu. Some common symptoms are:

1. Cough

2. Diarrhea

3. Respiratory Problems

4. Fever

5. Headache

6. Muscle aches

7. Runny nose etc.


Risk Factors:

H5N1 has the ability to survive for extended periods of time. Birds infected with H5N1 continue to release the virus in feces and saliva for as long as 10 days. Touching contaminated surfaces can spread the infection.

A greater risk arises if you are any of the following:

1. a poultry farmer

2. a traveler visiting affected areas

3. exposed to infected birds

4. someone who eats undercooked poultry or eggs

5. a healthcare worker caring for infected patients

6. a household member of an infected person.


In most cases, treatment with antiviral medication such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) can help reduce the severity of the disease. However, the medication must be taken within 48 hours after symptoms first appear.

The virus that causes the human form of the flu can develop resistance to the two most common forms of antiviral medications, amantadine and rimantadine (Flumadine). These medications shouldn’t be used to treat the disease.

Your family or others in close contact with you might also be prescribed antivirals as a preventive measure, even if they aren’t sick. You’ll be placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to others.

Should you be worried about having chicken and eggs?

Bird flu scare has sent panic waves among chicken lovers. However, the Indian authorities and the doctors have appealed to the people not to panic as the virus is sensitive to heat and can be killed by properly cooking the chicken meat and eggs.

"Thoroughly cooked chicken and eggs can be consumed in areas where there is no avian influenza outbreak. When you buy raw meat, make sure to follow proper hygiene and use different utensils to wash and cook the meat. Do not mix raw and cooked meat,” Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, Additional Professor (Environmental Health), Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh said.

Speaking in an interview Dr Ravindra Khaiwal said that there was no need to panic as long as everyone followed basic hygiene and cooking etiquettes.

Dr Ravindra Khaiwal said that, so far, the human to human transfer of the avian influenza virus has not been reported in India. The transfer is rare but has been reported in many countries except India.

He said that this virus was first identified in China in 1996. One strain of this virus was reported in India in 2007. But it remained limited to birds.

"The best strategy to stop the virus infection is to contain it at the source. As the moment in the epicentre zones has been restricted and SOPs are being followed, there is no need to panic," Dr Khaiwal said.

    Mayank Mishra



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