8 Lions In India Test Positive For Covid-19 After Showing Signs Of Respiratory Distress
When Covid-19 started to spread worldwide, people were concerned if the virus could end up infecting animals.
Scientists learned that in some situations, the virus can spread from people to animals, especially when there’s close contact.
In coronavirus-stricken India, 8 lions tested positive for Covid-19 at a zoo after showing signs of respiratory distress.
Image used for illustration purposes only
The Nehru Zoological Park is now closed as a precautionary measure.
India lions receiving treatment after contracting Covid-19
On Tuesday (4 May), 8 Asiatic lions at the Nehru Zoological Park – located in the southern state of Hyderabad – tested positive for Covid-19.
According to a statement from the zoo, they first noticed the lions showing signs of respiratory distress. They decided to collect samples from the lions’ nose, throat, and respiratory tract while the felines were under anaesthesia.
The 8 lions were then confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.
They were promptly isolated, and treatment was administered.
All the lions have been responding well to treatment and are now on the road to recovery.
Zoo closes as a precaution
Addressing this, India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit Covid-19 to humans, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Nonetheless, the zoo is not taking any chances and have closed their doors to visitors.
Nehru Zoological Park’s statement also stated that precautionary measures are in place for its staff.
India reports over 300,000 new cases daily for 13 days in a row
This news comes as India battles a devastating 2nd wave of Covid-19 infections.
According to CNA, the country has now reported over 300,000 daily cases for 13 days in a row.
They have now reached 20 million Covid-19 cases, the 2nd highest number of cases after the United States.
Avoid contact with animals if you have Covid-19
While it’s not known how the lions contracted Covid-19, we are glad that the zoo is erring on the side of caution and stepping up precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 to avoid contact with all animals. This includes pets, livestock, and wildlife.
We hope India can rise above the health crisis and keep the outbreak under control soon.
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Featured image adapted from Scroll.in.