After a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger in New York's Bronx Zoo tested positive for Covid-19, the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) has issued a set of precautionary measures to be taken by Zoos across the country. Nadia, a tiger, at the Bronx Zoo has become the first of her kind to test positive for the coronavirus. Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after she - and five other tigers, lions at the zoo - began showing symptoms of respiratory illness, said the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
"Zoos in the country are advised to remain on highest alertness. Watch animals on 24x7 basis, using CCTV for any abnormal behaviour/ symptoms. Keepers/ handlers not to be allowed in the vicinity without safely gear, preferably PPE, isolate & quarantine sick animals, and have least contact while providing feed to animals," said the notice by the CZA.
It further said that carnivorous mammals especially cat, ferret, and primates are to be carefully monitored and fortnightly samples of suspect cases are to be 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.
Bronx Zoo authorities say Nadia, the tiger, will recover and that the animals were infected by a zoo employee who was 'asymptomatically infected with the virus' while caring for them. The Bronx Zoo has been closed to the public since March 16.
The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has spread across 183 countries. Today is the 13th day of India's 21-day lockdown. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India stands at 4,067. The Union Health Ministry has said that 109 people have died due to the virus.
Globally, there have been over 12.7 lakh confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least 69,500 people have died so far. Cases continue to rise in the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France, among others. The outbreak is having a major impact on the global economy and the stock market.