STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Zoos in India put on high alert after Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for COVID-19

The authority said mammals, especially cats, ferret and primates, need to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspected cases be sent to designated animal health institutes.

Published: 06th April 2020 12:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2020 01:56 PM   |  A+A-

tiger

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Alarmed that a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in the United States tested positive for COVID-19, the Centre on Monday directed the Chief Wildlife Wardens in all states and Union Territories to ensure that the animal remains safe.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority directed all Chief Wildlife Wardens and tiger range states to take preventive measures in order to avert the disease in the big cat.

“Tigers may be observed for symptoms consistent with COVID 19 such as respiratory signs of nasal discharge, coughing and laboured breathing through direct observation to the extent possible besides through camera trap images for visible symptoms…

“It should be ensured that personnel, handling tigers in human-tiger negative interactions and translocation operations, be ascertained to be coronavirus negative. They should take due precaution as advised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India from time to time,” a circular said. 

The Chief Wildlife Wardens were advised to exercise diligence while handling post-mortem cases to record location, age and sex of the animal at the time of collection of samples for coronavirus diagnosis in consultation with the state veterinary officials. 

As coronavirus is known to affect gastrointestinal system in felines, the requisite correlation may be made for characterizing the virus type in consultation with the State Veterinary Department. For COVID 19 diagnosis as well as differential diagnoses and characterization, samples may be sent to ICAR approved laboratories as per enclosure, the circular said.

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued another circular through the Central Zoo Authority. 

“Zoos in the country are, therefore, advised to remain on the highest alertness, watch animals on 24X7 basis, using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour/symptoms, keepers/handlers not to be allowed in the vicinity without safety gear preferably PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), isolate & quarantine sick animals, and have least contact while providing feed to animals,” the circular stated.

It said mammals like carnivores especially cat, ferret, and primates have to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspect cases sent to the designated animal health institutes to initiate COVID-19 testing while following all bio-containment and safety measures required to handle this high-risk pathogen as per the national/ICMR guidelines.

“All zoo personnel to strictly adhere to safety and disinfection protocol issued by the Government, time to time, on Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). Further, zoos are advised to coordinate with designated nodal agencies of the Government responsible for public health response and permit screening, testing and surveillance and diagnostic samples as and when required by the nodal agency,” the circular reads.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp