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8 Asiatic lions test positive for COVID-19 in India; kept in isolation

HYDERABAD: As many as eight lions housed in Nehru Zoological Park (NZP) here have tested positive for the COVID-19, a report submitted by CCMB-LaCONES said today.

As per reports, the lions in the zoo were showing signs of respiratory distress and their samples collected from the nose, throat and respiratory tract were shared with CCMB-LaCONES on April 24.

The eight lions are kept in isolation now and have been provided with all the necessary treatment. Further analysis of the samples revealed that the infection was not caused by any variant of coronavirus.

The lions have responded well to the treatments and recovering. There was no change in their normal behavior as well as eating habits.

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There’s no factual evidence that animals infected with the virus can transmit the same to the human.
Central Zoo Authority, as pre-emptive measures, have issued guidelines and advisories to the zoo mentioning the precautions to be taken in view of increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Guidelines for monitoring prevention of the disease, sample collection, detection in suspected cases, and safety protocols for animal keepers have suggested the zoo consult with scientific agencies and experts.

Zoo staffs were strictly advised not to get closer to these animals and all the staffs must maintain two-meter distance in between.

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