The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday banned the supply of poultry from Kerala and a few other states in the south, amid fears over the spread of the avian influenza or bird flu, Hindustan Times reported. The ban will be implemented for 10 days, according to The Times of India.

The decision was taken at a meeting, led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, with officials from the state’s animal husbandry and health departments. Several states in the country have stepped up vigil because of the spread of the infection. Thousands of birds, including migratory ones, have died across different states since December.

JN Kansotia, the principal secretary of the animal husbandry department, told Hindustan Times that Madhya Pradesh’s poultry supply was predominantly brought in from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “Kerala has sounded a high alert and there is a report from there about culling of poultry,” he said. “Hence, the state government has decided to take this measure.”

The Madhya Pradesh government said that it was monitoring reservoirs and poultry farms in the affected districts. It added that samples of birds were being collected for tests immediately in case of sickness or unnatural death.

Meanwhile, Kerala Forest and Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju said that over 44,000 birds had been culled in the state’s Alappuzha and Kottayam districts, ANI reported. “Due to the bird flu, 23,857 had died in both districts,” he added. A three-member central team arrived in Alappuzha on Thursday to assess the situation, PTI reported. Another team was sent to Haryana.

Also read: Centre sends multi-disciplinary teams to avian influenza-hit districts in Kerala, Haryana

The Karnataka government put all the state’s districts on high-alert because of the situation in Kerala, according to PTI. Officials of the animal husbandry department in several districts were directed to hold disease control committee meetings with the deputy commissioners.

The Centre had on Wednesday identified 12 epicentres of the outbreak from different districts of Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. In a statement, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that it has issued advisories to these states to contain the spread of the infection.

The government also set up a control room in the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in Delhi, to coordinate and facilitate state government in connection with the outbreak management, disease control and containment process. Earlier, the environment ministry has asked states to form monitoring committees for the avian influenza.

The Centre directed the states to closely monitor all wetlands and habitats that host migratory birds, and areas with any possibility of interaction of migratory and poultry birds. The affected states were also asked to send weekly reports to the ministry.