Coronavirus May Be Spreading Among Animals; All National Parks Closed

New Delhi: The deadly coronavirus may have started to spread among animals as well, fears the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

A number of Asiatic lions have been reported to have died due to coronavirus, leading the ministry to believe that there is a strong possibility that the virus is being transmitted amongst animals.

As a preventive measure, the Ministry of Environment has ordered all states and union territories (UTs) to close down national parks/sanctuaries, and other protected areas for tourists with immediate effect.

As per the ministry’s Wildlife Division release, the government has directed that movement of people to national parks and other protected areas be restricted. All other stipulations issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, regarding movement of staff, villagers in and around the national parks, will also have to be maintained.

The Environment ministry stated that the possibility of transmission of the virus from humans to animals and vice-versa can’t be ruled out.

All states and UTs have been directed to arrange for emergency treatment of animals and safe release back to their natural habitats.

Human-wildlife interface must be reduced as there are reports of transmission from both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers (human beings) of the disease, the directive added.

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