Eminent personalities, including BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, have appealed to people to take care of cats and dogs and not fall for rumours of them being carriers of the novel coronavirus.
"Cats cannot give or get Coronavirus. If you have seen some nonsensical thing on television that a tiger in one zoo has got it. Remember this cat is not a tiger. There is no relationship. It is same as comparing dogs to wolves," Gandhi, who is also an animal rights activist, said in a video message on Twitter.
While the research and scientists are yet to provide a conclusive result, Bollywoood actor Sonakshi Sinha also echoed Maneka Gandhi's though and had a stern message for those abandoning their dogs due to pandemic coronavirus.
She wrote for those abandoning their dogs, "You are idiots and the only things you should abandon are your ignorance and inhumanity!" [sic]
Coming back to BJP MP's reaction, several incidents of attacks on cats and dogs were reported due to misinformation that they can be infected with COVID-19. Asserting that a cat cannot be compared to a tiger that reportedly contracted the Coronavirus in a zoo in New York, the former Union Minister said there is no relationship between the two. "Your cats are completely safe to be around, so allow people to feed them. Allow them to be in every colony. They are a great asset," she said.
Wrestler and philanthropist Sangram Singh said it is absolutely incorrect that cats and dogs spread Coronavirus. "Pets can spread only one thing and that is love. So please take care of your pets and also ensure street animals are taken care of," he said in a video message.
Mukesh Batra, Founder and Chief Managing Director, Batra's Positive Health Clinic Private Limited said the new coronavirus does not spread from pets. "In fact, it is the love you get from them that will keep you going in these times," Batra said.
The government's latest guidelines state that the presence of animals and birds in the area where COVID-19 patients are quarantined can also pose a massive risk of the spread of the disease.
The prevention of the deadly infection in the health ministry document released on Sunday emphasised on the animals and birds to be prevented from entering a quarantine area, and any unnecessary activity should be stopped by security personnel including those of the humans.
“Separate fence needs to be raised around the building to prevent the entry of animals, especially dogs, monkeys, and even birds if possible. Well-informed and trained security personnel need to be deployed all around the building on a 24x7 rotation basis to monitor the facility and to avoid entry of undesired persons or animals and even birds for eating any food remains or droppings inside the area,” read the document.