New Delhi: Maharashtra and Delhi became the eighth and ninth states to confirm cases of bird flu amid concerns over the spread of the disease. The outbreak has been confirmed in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

On Sunday, 17 more ducks were found dead at Sanjay Lake in Delhi, prompting the authorities to declare it an “alert zone”.

All eight samples — four from a park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3, three from Sanjay Lake, and one from Dwarka — have been found positive for avian influenza, Dr Rakesh Singh from the animal husbandry unit of the Development Department said. The report of the test results arrived on Monday morning, he said.

Earlier, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had closed the water bodycum-park following the death of 10 ducks on the premises.

Apart from the ducks, a DDA official said, 91 crows have been found dead in 14 DDA parks in the last few days.

Delhi has banned import of live birds and the biggest wholesale poultry market in Ghazipur has been temporarily shut down. "Rapid response teams have been formed in every district to contain the spread. Veterinary doctors are also constantly on the lookout. The focus is particularly on the poultry markets in Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Lake, and Hauz Khas," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has summoned senior officials of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry to examine the availability of animal vaccines in the country; the meeting will take place at 3 pm today.

 Haryana has reported the most number of bird deaths; more than 4 lakh birds have died in the last few weeks. Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh are also on alert.