The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology ( CCMB ) has found on Tuesday (May 4) that eight Asiatic lions of the Hyderabad Zoo are COVID-19 positive. However, as of now, none of them are in serious condition and are on road to recovery. Fortunately, all these lions are now normal and eating their food.
RT-PCR tests of the infected animals were conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, examined the nasal and throat samples(oropharyngeal swab) of the big cats. Zoo officials raised an alarm last week when they saw the pack of Lions wheezing with dry cough, nasal discharge and loss of appetite.
The government said the animals were responding to treatment, and cautioned against fear-mongering. “Based on experience with zoo animals elsewhere in the world that have experienced SARS-COV2 positive last year, there is no factual evidence that animals can transmit the disease to humans any further,” the government said in a statement.
The scientist cautioned the officials to take precautions and start the medication at the earliest. The zoo authorities are likely to conduct a CT Scan of the lions to know the impact of the infection on their lungs.
The Central Zoo Authority has taken several pre-emptive measures, including issuance of guidelines and advisories to the zoos, towards precautions to be undertaken in the light of increasing number of cases of SARS CoV-2.
In view of rapid spread of SARS Cov-2 in the country, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change has issued advisory to close all Zoological Parks, National Parks, Tiger Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries for visitors till further orders to control the spread of the Covid-19.