MYSURU: Dasara elephants that arrived in the city on Thursday have been put under strict quarantine to prevent them from catching coronavirus. So much so that they have not even been taken out for their weight test, which is an annual ritual.
The forest department has dropped the procedure and is strictly against any outing for the elephants and mahouts and kavadis.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) J Alexander said they are being extra careful this time and added that elephants were already weighed while they left Veeranahosahalli in Hunsur.
On the proposal to test the pachyderms for the pandemic, veterinarian Dr Nagaraj said so far no rapid kits have been developed for testing them and added that they are consulting the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bengaluru.
All mahouts, kavadis test -ve
Mahouts and kavadis as well as those who accompanied them were tested for Covid by health officials on the palace premises. All 19 of them tested negative in the Rapid Antigen Test and their swabs have been sent for RT-PCR test.