Migratory birds in Kidapawan not carriers of coronavirus – NorthCot health chief

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 13 February) – A health official in North Cotabato denied reports the migratory birds roosting on electrical wires here from dusk to dawn are carriers of the dreaded coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Dr. Eva Rabaya, chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office said such claims are unfounded and have no scientific basis.

Rabaya issued the statement to dispel claims that the coronavirus can be transmitted through wastes excreted by birds.

She made the clarification during the joint meeting between the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Provincial Peace and Order Council convened by Governor Nancy Catamco on Thursday.

Earlier, Psalmer Bernalte of the Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, suggested that experts should start studying the migratory birds that had been settling on electrical wires along the highway since 2013.

“These birds have been with us for so long a time. And there was no report, so far, that these birds have brought some kind of a disease,” Bernalte said during a recent press briefing here.

The residents are already “used” to the birds’ droppings, also known as “guano”, he explained.

The birds would start sitting on the electrical wires from 5:30 p.m., and stay there until dawn.

“I have this feeling these birds have to go somewhere because their habitat had already been destroyed for several reasons. And I really don’t know why they chose Kidapawan City,” Bernalte said.

Residents noticed that the number of migratory birds has increased compared to a few years back.

They used to occupy only a portion of the electrical wires along Jose Abad Santos Street here.

But today, they said, these birds have already occupied the power lines located along Quezon Boulevard or the national highway. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)